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Necaxa and Alajuela Down MLS Clubs to Advance to 1999 CONCACAF Champions Cup Final in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (Friday, October 1, 1999) - Necaxa of Mexico downed Major League Soccer's D.C. United 3-1, and Costa Rica's Alajuela squeezed past the Chicago Fire (MLS) in penalty kicks to advance to the 1999 CONCACAF Champions Cup Final this Sunday at 4 p.m. (PT) at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev. Both the final and third-place match (which kicks off at 2 p.m. PT) will be televised live on Fox Sports World and Fox Sports Español across the USA.

Necaxa scored three unanswered goals from Sergio Almaguer, Agustin Delgado and Edgar Oliva to erase an early 1-0 deficit on a 26th minute volley from United defender Carey Talley. Two Necaxa goals came courtesy of goalkeeping errors from United netminder Tom Presthus, who fumbled a corner kick in the first half on Almaguer's tally and misjudged a high corner kick in the second, enabling Oliva to ice the game with an empty-net header. Delgado, an Ecuadorian international, leads the tournament with three goals heading into Sunday's final after his piercing strike on Necaxa's second goal.

After a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire in the first match, Alajuela advanced to the finals 5-4 in the penalty-kick tiebreaker when Lubos Kubik skied Chicago's second penalty over the crossbar. Javier Delgado scored the clinching penalty for the Costa Rican club.

Alajuela jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute of the first match when Wilson Mu¤oz fired a shot into the lower left corner of the goal past Chicago goalkeeper Zach Thornton. Mu¤oz was set-up by a number of crisp, short passes in the penalty area that created the open space for his shot from 15 yards out from the center of the penalty area.

The Fire tied the match with a 38th minute free kick from Roman Kosecki from 22 yards, which was set up after Alajuela's Javier Delgado fouled Chicago's Ante Razov just outside the penalty area.

FIFA MEDIA CONFERENCE SATURDAY A media conference will be held not earlier than 3 p.m. PT on Saturday at the MGM Grand Hotel in Studio 6 following this weekend's FIFA Executive Committee meeting. No accreditation required.

GOLD CUP '99 PLAYOFF CREDENTIALS AVAILABLE Media requesting credentials for the 2000 Gold Cup '99 Playoffs in Los Angeles (Oct. 6-10), can pick up their credentials at InterAmerica Soccer Club (1541 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 300; Los Angeles). Please call 213/413-3951 for more information (213/413-7026 fax).

1999 CONCACAF Champions' Cup
Sam Boyd Stadium * Las Vegas, Nevada
Tuesday, Sept. 28
Game #1Chicago Fire (USA) vs. Joe Public (Trinidad & Tobago)Chicago Fire 2,
Joe Public 0
Game #2Toluca (Mexico) vs. Alajuela (Costa Rica)Alajuela 1,
Toluca 0
Wednesday, Sept. 29
Game #1D.C. United (USA) vs. Olimpia (Honduras)D.C. United 1,
Olimpia 0
Game #2Necaxa (Mexico) vs. Saprissa (Costa Rica)Necaxa 3,
Saprissa 2
Friday, October 1
Game #1Chicago Fire (USA) vs. Alajuela (Costa Rica)Chicago Fire 1, Alajuela 1
(Alajuela 5-4 PK)
Game #2D.C. United (USA) vs. Necaxa (Mexico)D.C. United 1,
Necaxa 3
Sunday, October 3
Game #1Third-place game: Chicago Fire (USA) vs. D.C. United (USA)2:00 pm (PT)
Game #2Championship game: Alajuela (Costa Rica) vs. Necaxa (Mexico)4:00 pm (PT)