Tigres UANL earned an automatic berth into the 2005 edition of the Copa Libertadores by taking home the InterLiga title Wednesday night with a 2-0 win against Toluca at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Tex. CD Guadalajara also booked a place in a playoff against Peru's Cienciano when they defeated Jaguares on penalty kicks.
Goals by Irenio Soares and Javier Saavedra gave Tigres the win that secures the club its first-ever qualification to Copa Libertadores. Chivas played in the South American club championship in 1998, the first year Mexican clubs were invited to participate.
Goals from Adolfo Bautista and Sergio Almaguer left Chivas and Jaguares deadlocked at full time, and 30 minutes of extra time didn't settle matters either, Chivas winning their playoff place 5-3 on penalty kicks.
Tigres will be in Group 6 of the eight-group (four teams per group) tournament. They will square off with Alianza Lima (Peru), Banfield (Argentina) and Caracas FC (Venezuela), while Chivas faces Cienciano of Peru for the right to join Group 7. Other participants in Group 7 are San Lorenzo (Argentina), Once Caldas (Columbia) and Cobreloa (Chile). They also join Pachuca in the Copa Libertadores, which captured the first of Mexico's three places in a playoff in October.
Jonathan Nierman is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.