GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Necaxa’s American duo of Ventura Alvarado and Sonny Guadarrama (pictured above) kept their hopes of reaching Liga MX alive with a 0-0 tie at home to Estudiantes Tecos on Wednesday in the first leg of the Ascenso MX’s Clausura semifinals.
Phoenix native Alvarado and Guadarrama, a Texan, both played the full 90 minutes in a game the home side dominated. But Los Rayos could not take advantage even after the visitors went down to 10 men in the 62nd minute, when Juan Cuevas picked up his second yellow card.
Three-time Mexican first-division champions Necaxa will head to Guadalajara on Saturday for the return leg hoping for an away goal, with Alvarado and Guadarrama set to feature. If the teams play to a scoreless tie, Tecos would advance as the higher seed.
If they overcome Tecos, Necaxa – who lost in the final last season – will play either Alebrijes de Oaxaca or Correcaminos in the Clausura final. The Ascenso MX champions face a playoff against Universidad de Guadalajara to see who will be promoted.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.