Liga MX playoffs: Cruz Azul, Monterrey advance to semifinals

No. 1 seed Cruz Azul advanced to the Liga MX semfinals following a 1-1 draw (3-1 aggregate) with eighth-seeded Queretaro on Saturday night.

Elias Hernandez scored for Cruz Azul in the fourth minute of the match at Estadio Azteca, handling Edgar Mendez's midfield volley and then weaving around traffic to place the ball in the top corner of the net.

Queretaro earned some solace in the 61st minute when VAR confirmed Luis Romo's header off a corner kick that crossed the goaline before being batted out by goalkeeper Jesus Corona.

Cruz Azul, who topped the table for the majority of the regular season, are the first to book their spot into the final four and are hoping to break a 20-year league title drought.

In Saturday's second match, defending champions and No. 4 seed Santos Laguna slipped to a 3-0 aggregate defeat to No. 5 seed Monterrey after a 2-0 result.

Two second-half goals by Nicolas Sanchez (53') and Rogelio Funes Mori (59') ensured Monterrey's passage into the semifinals.

Santos star striker Julio Furch seemingly had given one for the home side but the Argentine was correctly called offside.