Monterrey wins CONCACAF Champions League
Posted on 25 April 2012 in FIFA Club World Cup
Monterrey has won its second-straight continental title after defeating Club Santos Laguna in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League final. Monterrey won the two-leg all-Mexican final series 3-2 on aggregate, with a 2:0 home win on 18 April followed by a 1:2 away defeat on 25 April. The series score was in fact tied 2-2 before Monterrey's Neri Cardozo scored the championship winner in the 82nd minute.
In the second leg on 25 April at the Estadio Nuevo Corona in Torreón, Mexico, Daniel Ludueña and Oribe Peralta scored on either side of the break for host Santos Laguna. Those goals evened the aggregate score. In the 82nd minute, Monterrey's Walter Ayoví and Cardozo combined to give the defending champions the lead.
In the final leg, Monterrey's starting XI featured Jonathan Orozco (goal), José Basanta, Severo Meza, Darvin Chavez, Hiram Mier, Luis Pérez, Jesús Zavala, Ángel Reyna, Neri Cardozo, César Delgado and Aldo De Nigris.
In the second half, head coach Victor Vucetich replaced Reyna with Walter Ayoví (63'), Delgado with Abraham Carreño (84'), and De Nigris with Hector Morales (87'). Humberto Suazo, who scored both goals in the first leg, did not feature because he was serving a one-match suspension after accumulating two yellow cards in previous matches.
Suazo of Monterrey won the competition's Golden Boot with seven goals scored. Peralta of Santos Laguna also scored seven goals in the competition, but finished second after the tie breaker (Suazo had two goals in the final while Peralta had just the one). Jorge Barbosa (Herediano), Herculez Gomez (Santos, did not play in the final match), and Joao Plata (Toronto FC) scored six goals each.
This CONCACAF Champions League season, Canadian entry Toronto FC reached the semi-final phase before losing to Santos Laguna in the final half of the two-leg series. After a 1:1 draw in Toronto, the two sides were even 2-2 after 45 minutes in Torreón, Mexico. Santos Laguna then scored four goals in the second half, including two on penalties.
By winning CONCACAF Champions League, Monterrey has qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012. Monterrey is the first team to win CONCACAF Champions League in successive seasons. Before CONCACAF Champions League was inaugurated in 2008-09, Pachuca was the last back-to-back CONCACAF champion in 2007 and 2008.
Canada's 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League entry will be determined this May when Vancouver Whitecaps FC, FC Edmonton, Toronto FC and Impact Montréal compete in the 2012 Amway Canadian Championship. The two semi-final legs (Edmonton v Vancouver and Montréal v Toronto) will be played on 2 and 9 May while the two championship legs will be played 16 and 23 May.