Draw sends Guadalajara into Mexican final

December 4, 2006

MEXICO CITY, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Guadalajara held on for a goalless draw away to America in a clash of Mexico's two biggest clubs to reach the final of the Apertura championship on Sunday.

The result in the semi-final second leg gave the Chivas a 2-0 aggregate win and a place in the final against Toluca, who overcame defending champions Pachuca in the other tie.

America coach Luis Fernando Tena surprisingly left former Argentina striker Claudio Lopez on the bench for Sunday night's game at the Azteca stadium.

The Eagles dominated the first half and were close to a breakthrough when Matias Vuoso hit the post shortly before the break.

At the other end, Diego Martinez had a shot saved by Guillermo Ochoa when he had only the America goalkeeper to beat.

Guadalajara, the only team in the championship who do not field foreign players, comfortably held out in the second half to reach the final for the second time since the club was bought by flamboyant businessman Jorge Vergara in 2003.

Uruguay striker Vicente Sanchez scored the only goal as Toluca beat Pachuca 1-0 for a 2-1 aggregate win in the other tie.

The Beavers were close to a late equaliser when Juan Carlos Cacho headed against the crossbar and when Luis Angel Landin's shot was pushed away by Hernan Cristante.

Toluca reached the final for the second time in three championships under former Argentina midfielder Americo Gallego, who has also coached River Plate, Independiente and Newell's Old Boys to the league title in his homeland.

Two championships - the Apertura and the Clausura - are played in the Mexican season.