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MORELIA, Mexico - Second-half substitutes Joao Rojas and Miguel Sabah scored three minutes apart and rallied Morelia to a 2-1 victory over Alajuelense on Tuesday to send it to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.

The result left both teams with 12 points atop Group A, but with Alajuelense in danger of falling short of the knockout round should the LA Galaxy beat winless Motagua on Thursday in Honduras.

Morelia was in danger of becoming the first Mexican team to not get past the Group Stage of the Champions League since the tournament began four years ago when Pablo Gabbas put Alajuelense ahead in the 36th minute.

Given time and space in the middle of the field, Gabbas unleashed a left-footed drive from 40 meters that streaked past diving Morlia keeper Felipe Rodriguez inside the right post.

The goal came against the run of play, with Morelia commanding twice as much possession in the first half as Alajuelense -- which was seeking to become only the second Costa Rican side to reach the quarterfinals. Yasser Corona had Morelia's best chances of the half, twice heading high and once wide.

But with Morelia facing likely elimination, manager Tomas Boy - who made five changes from the team that beat Tigres 2-0 on Friday -- inserted Rojas for Gerardo Lugo, and Aldo Leao Ramirez for Jorge Gastelum to start the second half.

Rojas made an immediate impact, breaking through the middle of the penalty area a minute and a half later but putting his shot wide right. Corona also had a pair of chances as Morelia began to create the multiple chances it was unable to do in the first 45 minutes.

It resulted in a goal when Rojas settled a high ball into the area and beat Alajuelense goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton, who was able to get a hand to the shot, but only send it into the roof of the net.

Sabah bolstered Morelia, replacing Corona, in the 57th, and two minutes later, gaves "Los Monarcas" the lead, redirecting a corner from just outside the goal box and direct it into the far-side netting.

Alajuelense, which leads the Costa Rican Apertura, lost for the third time in four Champions League matches away from home, winning only against Motagua two weeks ago.