Morelia ends Tecos' InterLiga hopes

Pavlovich forcing Tecos goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona down for the save after a nice Rey run on the left flank -- before Rey scored a beauty a minute later.

It was product of an off-balance cross by Pavlovich, who, under pressure on the right wing, stretched to first-time a short pass from Bernardo Sainz. The ball toward the far post sailed over Leano's head to Rey, who leapt to meet the ball, arcing it just inside the right post.

Pavlovich scored his first goal for his new team in the 25th, with Rey again at the heart of the sequence. Rey ran past the backline and onto a long ball toward the left corner, turned in on the byline and dropped the ball back for the onrushing Ignacio Carrasco. Corona dived to halt Carrasco's blast, and Pavlovich was nearby to poke home the rebound.

Tecos halved the deficit in the 30th minute, Rodrigo Ruiz's corner kick to the corner of the six-yard box finding Leano, whose looping header landed inside the far post as Morelia failed to adequately cover their goal.

If anything, the second half, although devoid of goals until the final seconds, was more scintillating. The teams traded chances until the final 15 minutes, when Tecos, desperate for a goal to keep their hopes alive, asserted heavy pressure on the Morelia box. It only led to so much: The final pass was offline, or a Monarcas defender defused the danger. Or, when it led to a shot, the finish was well off-target.

Morelia had the more dangerous opportunities throughout the half, even near the finish, when their counterattack led to two quick chances in the 79th minute by Pavlovich. The Argentine striker was bodied off the ball by Jose Huerta after dancing past the defender, then was thwarted by Corona seconds later on a point-blank shot from Rey's feed.

UAG's best opportunities came during a five-minute sequence midway through the half. Pablo Metlich fired just over the crossbar from 25 yards in the 59th minute, and then Emanuel Villa twice came close shortly afterward.

Villa's blistering shot from 26 yards looked bound for the upper-left corner until Morelia goalkeeper Moises Munoz reached up to knock it past the post. Ruiz's ensuing corner kick drew Munoz from his net, leaving an open target, but Villa's far-post header sailed wide of the right post.

Morelia -- primarily through Rey, who attacked mostly from the left flank -- created myriad opportunities to add to their lead. The Colombian forward went on a 50-yard run after Wilson Matias broke up a Tecos attack in the 52nd minute, pushing the ball past Huerta, then sending it to the far post, just beyond a sliding Pavlovich.

Three minutes later Rey was at it again, feeding Ignacio Carrasco for a blast from the top of the box. Corona bobbled the save and Diego Colotto cleared it under pressure. A minute after that, and again in the 71st minute, Rey against tested Corona, who made two more fine stops.

Rey finished off UAG in the 93rd minute. Omar Trujillo, near the midfield stripe, sent a superb pass into space in front of the Monarcas' box. Rey ran unencumbered onto the ball, took it into the box, then side-footed it past Corona and inside the far post.

The victory was a nice end to an otherwise forgettable InterLiga for Morelia, which had been eliminated with losses to to Jaguares in Houston and America in Frisco, Texas. After last year's debacle, in which the Monarcas went winless and finished in the Group A cellar, an impressive victory sweetened the experience.

Scott French is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the tournament organizers or clubs.

01.10.2007: Home Depot Center, Carson, California
Attendance/ Asistencia: TBA

MOR - 18-Luis G. Rey 8'
MOR - 7-Nicolas Pavlovich 25'
UAG - 27-Juan Leaño 30'
MOR - 18-Luis G. Rey 93+

MOR: 23-Moises Muñoz, 2-Edgar Solano, 4-Carlos H. Gonzalez (33-Hugo Sanchez 30'), 6-Roberto Vargas, 8-Ignacio Carrasco (10-Walter Montillo 77'), 27-Omar Trujillo, 5-Wilson Matias, 19-Mariano Trujillo, 7-Nicolas Pavlovich, 13-Bernardo Sainz (37-Jorge Rosas 68'), 18-Luis G. Rey

DNP / No jugaron: 1- Miguel Fraga (GK), 9-Rafael Marquez, 36-Mario Moreno, 46-Pedro Osorio

TD: Marco Figueroa

UAG: 1- Jesús de Corona (GK), 3-Diego Colotto, 27-Juan Leaño, 29-Diego Jiménez (2- Jose Huerta 31'), 10-Hernan Encina, 13-Pablo Metlich, 15-Rafael Medina, 39-Eder Urieta, 8-Rodrigo Ruiz, 9-Eduardo Lllingston (6-Nelson Pinto 68'), 20-Emanuel Villa.

DNP / No jugaron: 12-Jose Garay (GK), 5-Carlos Ayala, 14- Mirsha Serrano, 37-Jonathan Borja, 42-Arnhold Rivas

TD: Dario Franco

Cingular Man of the Match: MOR - 7-Nicolas Pavlovich

MOR - , 8-Ignacio Carrasco 50'
UAG - 27-Juan Leaño 37'
UAG - 10-Hernan Encina 68'
UAG - 3-Diego Colotto 82'

Sent off: None

Statistics     MOR  UAG
Goal Attempts  19   14
Saves           5   10
Fouls          10   14
Corners         2    4
Offsides        1    2

R: Abbey Okulaja (USA)
A1: David Bragg (USA)
A2: Jose Corro (USA)
FO: Baldomero Toledo (USA)

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