By IVES GALARCEP
When Panamanian defender Felipe Baloy headed home Santos Laguna’s second goal of the night in Wednesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League second leg, Monterrey looked finished.
The defending champions were far from finished though. They were just getting started.
Monterrey rattled off four unanswered goals, including a title-clinching header from Aldo DeNigris, to earn a 4-2 aggregate victory and secure the team’s third straight CONCACAF title.
DeNigris keyed the comeback, scoring Monterrey’s first goal in the 60th minute to spark the turnaround. Santos Laguna looked like they might hold on but they surrendered three goals in the final seven minutes to lose their second straight final.
Neri Cardozo tied the score at 2-2 in the 83rd minute, but Monterrey needed one more goal because of the away-goals rule, and it was DeNigris who delivered it, skying over the Santos defense to head home a perfect Humberto Suazo pass into the penalty area.
Suazo provided an insurance goal in stoppage time to complete the comeback and make Monterrey the first team since Cruz Azul more than 40 years ago (1969-1971) to win three straight CONCACAF Champions League titles.
The victory secures a return trip to the Club World Cup for Monterrey while it leaves Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna wondering just how it all went wrong.
What did you think of the match? Amazed by Monterrey’s comeback? See them making noise in the Club World Cup? Hoping the loss makes it easier for Herculez Gomez to leave Santos Laguna and return to MLS?
Share your thoughts below.