Armando Pulido scored two goals to withstand a late penalty kick from Cuauhtemoc Blanco, and Tigres UANL beat the Chicago Fire 2-1 in the final match of SuperLiga group play Saturday night.
The win kept Tigres UANL alive in the tournament awaiting the result of a matchup between San Luis and Chivas USA on Saturday night in Carson, Calif. The Fire clinched a berth in next month's semifinal despite the loss, thanks to a goal differential tiebreaker that will move the team on in its first appearance in the tournament.
Pulido's first goal came in the 37th minute, when he finished off a nifty string of passes by Jonathan De Leon and Javier Saavedra that split the Fire defense.
He scored again in the 61st when he dribbled from 35 yards out and beat defenders Tim Ward and Austin Washington before sliding a shot to the back post and past the reach of Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch.
Blanco gave the Fire all they needed to advance in the 85th minute when he converted a penalty kick after Pulido tackled Patrick Nyarko in the penalty box.
The Fire needed only to draw or lose by less than two goals to advance to the semifinal round, held on July 15.