Soccer  > General Soccer  > Cruz Azul beats Arabe Unido, returns to quarterfinals
September 29, 2010, 12:46 PM
MEXICO CITY - Cruz Azul became the second team to clinch a place in CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, getting a goal in each half to beat Arabe Unido 2-0 on Tuesday.

The victory gave the two-time Champions League 10 points, moving it atop Group A on head-to-head results over Real Salt Lake, which clinched its spot in the final eight with a 1-1 draw at Toronto.

The pair climbed five points ahead of Toronto with one round remaining and will face off at Salt Lake next week to determine the group winner.

The loss eliminated Arabe Unido, which remained in last place with three points.

Cruz Azul, which extended its home unbeaten streak to 17 games in all competitions, scored early in each half and limited the Panamanian side to a handful of threatening chances to earn its 11th victory of the season in 15 games.

Emmanuel Villa, who has four goals in nine games in the Mexican Apertura, scored his sixth goal in five games in the Champions League less than a minute after kickoff.

Maximiliano Biancucchi settled a high ball off his chest, took a touch and sent it parallel across the top of the penalty area to Villa, who pivoted to hit a right-footed shot past hapless Arabe Unido goalkeeper Jose Calderon. It moved Villa into a tie for the second-most goals in this season's Champions League along with Real Salt Lakes Alvaro Saborio, four behind teammate Javier Orozco.

The goal initiated a 15-minute period dominated by Cruz Azul, limiting the visitors to a lone shot from distance by Andres Santamaria that was easily handled by Cruz Azul keeper Jose De Jesus Corona in the seventh minute.

Cruz Azul had one goal by Rogelio Chavez disallowed for a handball in the 10th minute and Villa put what looked like a sitter over the bar from the six-yard line in the 16th.

But Arabe Unido managed to gain some possession and threatened Corona on a couple of occasions, the most dangerous when Williams Aguilar found space along the left side and unleashed a left-footed effort from 25 meters that banged off the right post in the 28th minute.

Adrian Cortes tested Calderon in the 31st, launching a left-footed try from 30 meters that the Arabe Unido keeper had to dive and knock away at the right post with his outstretched left hand.

Cruz Azul virtually sealed the victory in the 50th when Cortes converted a penalty, awarded for a handball when Biancucchi's cross was blocked by Eric Davis on the right edge of the penalty area.

Villa had another chance to add to his goal total win the 75th, leaping to head Cortes' cross into the middle of the area and forcing Calderon to push it wide of the post.

The result wasn't as lopsided as Cruz Azul's 6-0 victory against Arabe Unido in Panama on September 15.

Arabe Unido, which reached the quarterfinals last year, has been outscored 13-4 in the Champions League this season and has been shut out in three of its last four games in all competitions.


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