MEXICO CITY - Juan Carlos Cacho's first-half goal lifted Pumas UNAM to a 1-0 win against Tauro Wednesday night and send the Mexican side to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals for a third time in four years.
Cacho headed Martin Bravo's looping cross bound for the back post off Tauro defender Azmahar Ariano and past goalkeeper Alvaro Anzola for the lone goal Pumas would need in the 45th minute.
With the win, Pumas finished atop Group C with 11 points, one in front of Toronto FC, which clinched a berth in the knockout stage with a 3-0 win at FC Dallas Tuesday.
Pumas' victory joined it with Morelia, Santos and Monterrey and marked the fourth straight time since the start of the Champions League that all four Mexican clubs have advanced to the quarterfinals.
Cacho remained dangerous in the second half - his shot in the 53rd minute deflected out for a corner.
Tauro nearly equalized in the 62nd minute when Odin Patino was beaten by a low shot from eight meters, but the ball was cleared off the line.
Three minutes later, Cacho was played through and tried to chip the advancing Anzola from the top of the box, but the Tauro goalkeeper jumped up to deflect the ball away.
Aaron Sandoval nearly struck for the all-important insurance goal with a quarter hour remaining, sneaking in at the back post on a free kick. But Anzola did well to make the save.
In the 80th minute, David Izazola closed on goal, but was denied by a late tackle by a Tauro defender. And two minutes later, Diego De Buen's volley from 14 meters sailed well over the crossbar.
A desperate Victor Mendieta danced just inside the edge of the 18-yard box and tried to win a penalty, but instead earned a spot in Salvadoran referee Joel Aguilar's book for simulation in the 85th minute.
Izazola again was played behind the Tauro defense in the 90th minute, but Anzola raced out to make the save, briefly breathing some life into the Panamanians.
In the third minute of second-half stoppage time, Michelle Castro sliced through the Tauro defense and had Anzola beat from the edge of the 18-yard box, but his shot bounced off the far post.