Fredy Jose Bareiro and Rodrigo Ruiz scored to lead Estudiantes Tecos to a 2-0 victory over Santos Laguna in an InterLiga match Tuesday night.
Tecos, after falling 2-1 to Atlante FC on Saturday, moved to 1-1-0 in Group A and face unbeaten Club America next.
"I'm happy because it represents winning and tallying more points and it gives us confidence for our next game against America," Ruiz said. "And now we control our own destiny for advancing to the next round."
Santos, just a year removed from their most recent Mexican championship, drops to 0-2-0 and watched its hopes for advancing to the next stage of the tournament fade.
"We played a good game," said Santos forward Carlos Ochoa, who had his team's best chance to score in the 74th minute but could not convert. "I think the little mistakes that we made, we needed to have 100 percent concentration for the whole game. We had a few opportunities and had more possession of the ball but they scored and we didn't."
InterLiga, the eight-team tournament of Mexican First Division club teams, will determine two automatic berths into the Copa Libertadores, the South American "Champions League," for the 2010 season.
Tecos, participating in its third InterLiga in the past four years, jumped on top in the 15th minute on Bareiro's goal. After receiving a nice lead pass from Ruiz, Bareiro bulled his way past Santos defender Diego Jimenez, who played for New York in the 2008 MLS season, into the penalty area and drilled a 15-yard shot past goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez.
"I saw that he made a good cut and I just touched the ball to him," Ruiz said of the goal. "The play was made easier by his great run off the ball."
Tecos nearly scored again two minutes later when Mauro Emiliano Cejas raced in on a breakaway, but Sanchez made a nice leaping save on Cejas' shot from 20 yards.
Santos almost got a goal just before halftime when Rafael Figueroa charged into the box and collided with Tecos goalkeeper Mario Rodriguez just as Daniel Luduena's pass arrived. Figueroa, from his knees, managed to kick the loose ball home, but he was ruled to have fouled Rodriguez and the goal was waved off.
Ruiz made it 2-0 in the 59th minute, cutting inside off the right flank and booming a 20-yard shot that appeared to be heading wide, but curled around a Santos defender and just inside the far post.
Rodriguez made three saves for the shutout.
Group A round-robin action continues Sunday in Los Angeles, as Tecos takes on Club America, while Santos faces Atlante FC.