Gringo Report: Ponce, Chivas top Bornstein, Tigres in liguilla

Miguel Ángel Ponce and Chivas de Guadalajara kicked off the quarterfinals of the Clausura 2011 tournament of the Mexican Primera División with a bang on Wednesday night, defeating table-toppers Tigres UANL 3-1 in the first leg of the aggregate goals series.

The left back, who had started the last four games for Chivas, found himself on the bench at the start of this one. However, Ponce jumped out of the dugout in the 19th minute to substitute Johnny Magallón, held down the left flank and, in the 64th, drew the penalty that would become Chivas’ third tally.

US international Jonathan Bornstein also saw action, slotting in at midfield for Tigres at halftime. It was his first game action in four weeks. However, he was subbed out 28 minutes later as the visitors looked to cut away at a two-goal hole.

The series will be decided on Saturday, when Tigres host Chivas in the second and deciding game of the series.

Over in Mexico City, midfielder Sonny Guadarrama got three mop-up minutes as a 10-man Atlante lost 2-1 in their visit to Cruz Azul.

Los Potros took an early lead in the seventh minute with a goal from ex-Chivas USA loan item Giancarlo Maldonado, but a brace from Christian Giménez in the 18th and 46th minutes gave La Máquina the win. In the 66 minute, Atlante had a man ejected for yellow card accumulation, and Giménez missed the ensuing penalty.

Atlante will host the second leg of the series on Saturday.

A flight below, Joe Corona and Tijuana continued the defense of their title by edging top-seeded León 1-0 on Wednesday night in the Mexican Liga de Ascenso semifinals. Corona started the match and went 56 minutes at midfield, nearly assisting eventual goalscorer Raúl Enríquez in the 41st minute.

On the other side of the pitch, midfielder Marco Vidal appeared as a 54th-minute sub for los Esmeraldas but could do nothing to keep Tijuana off the scoreboard. León will host the second leg of the aggregate goals series on Saturday.

Finally, down in Colombia, American goalkeeper Diego Restrepo backstopped América de Cali to a 3-0 shutout win over Depor FC in Copa Postobón action.

The ‘keeper had a relatively quiet afternoon as los Diablos Rojos scored three times between the 50th and 60th minutes to run away with the match. The result places América atop the Group E table of the domestic cup with 13 points, two above hated archrivals Deportivo Cali.