Mexico Soccer: Heartbreak in Torreon

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Santos Laguna fell short of a miracle Saturday in Torreon, and were unable to advance to the final even after remounting a 2-0 scoreline.

Santos defeated Pachuca 4-2, but failed to advance due to away goals. Santos got off to a perfect start when Rafael Figueroa opened up the scoreline in the 10th minute off a corner kick, Figueroa was able beat various defenders to the ball, as well as Conejo Perez to the cross to head it in for the first goal of the match.

A black cloud emerged over Torreon, and a single play undoubtedly change the outcome of the game.

Santos fell into shambles when Oswaldo Sanchez was handed a straight red in the 19th minute for a high leg on Enner Valencia. Rookie goalie Julio Gonzalez was forced to make an unexpected debut in one of the biggest matches of his life. Unfortunately, the pressure was just to much for the rookie keeper. Gonzalez’s first touch with ball was a complete disaster, as he attempted to fake out Valencia, but fumbled right into the striker, losing the ball and handing Pachuca its first goal of the night.

Things just got worse for Santos, as Los Tuzos scored again just seconds before the end of the half on a cross headed home by Dieter Villalpando.

Santos had a steep mountain to climb in the second half. But the playing field got leveled when Walter Ayovi was handed a straight red for a high leg as well, this time on Santos striker Oribe Peralta.

Minutes later Peralta was brought down in the box, and a penalty was given to Santos. Chato Rodriguez calmy slotted it past a diving Conejo to level the scoreline.

In the 76th minute Javier Orozco gave Torreon another breath of life, as he headed in a corner to put Santos ahead. The game ended in dramatic fashion, with the clock winding down Figueroa once again connected with another header past Perez, leaving Santos just a goal away from a miracle. But Santos did not have the divine forces on its side , as they fell just short of the miracle.

 

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