MEXICO CITY - Indios de Ciudad Juarez, a little-known team based in Mexico's most violent city, missed out on a place in the Clausura championship final despite winning 3-2 at Pachuca on Sunday. Indios, whose performances have brought some rare moments of happiness to the border city of Ciudad Juarez which is at the centre of Mexico's gruesome drugs war, lost the semi-final tie 4-3 on aggregate. Pachuca, leading 2-0 from the first leg, went ahead in the 13th minute when Jose Maria Cardenas fired home a loose ball. Indios, promoted last year and playing in the top flight for the first time, came within a whisker of pulling off a sensational fightback. Edwin Santibanez levelled in the 42nd minute when he scored off a pass from Daniel Frias, a former gang member who worked illegally in the United States before playing for Indios. Juan Pablo Rodriguez and Ezequiel Maggiolo then scored in the second half to put Indios 3-1 ahead and level the aggregate scores. But Pachuca, founded in 1901 by miners from the English county of Cornwall, snatched a place in the final against Pumas UNAM when Panama striker Blas Perez scored in the 90th minute. Pumas UNAM lost 2-1 at home to Puebla on Saturday but qualified due to their better overall record in the tournament after their tie ended 3-3 on aggregate. Sergio Perez converted a second minute penalty for outsiders Puebla and Daniel Osorno scored on the half hour to put them ahead on aggregate. But Pumas snatched a place in the final when Paraguay defender Dario Veron netted with two minutes left.
25 May 2009
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