COAHUILA, MEXICO - MARCH 14: Players of Santos Laguna celebrate a scored goal against the Seattle Sounders during a match as part of the CONCACAF Champions League at Estadio Corona on March 14, 2012 in Coahuila, Mexico. (Photo by Hans Maximo Musielik/Getty Images)

Monterrey Vs. Santos Laguna, 2012 Liguilla Final: Santos Break The Curse(s)

Santos Laguna went up early, but they had to hold on late to fend off Monterrey and win the Clausura title after finishing runners-up three of the last four tournaments.

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Santos Laguna Vs. Monterrey, 2012 Mexican Liguilla Final: Fourth Time's A Charm?

Santos Laguna grabbed a draw in Monterrey and are in position to snap their losing streak in the Liguilla finals.

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Monterrey Vs. Santos Laguna, 2012 Mexican Liguilla Final: Rayados Steal Late Draw

Santos Laguna appeared to have the Liguillla final completely in the bag heading into the second leg in Torreon, but Monterrey made things interesting at the death. Santos will still be the favorites to win the title, but the tie is more up in the air that it should be after the Rayados grabbed a 1-1 draw in stoppage time.

The first half was an eventful one with both goalkeepers called into actions multiple times, but the two sides went into half scoreless. The second half was a midfield battle for the most part, but Santos bypassed the very solid Monterrey midfield for the opening goal. On a ball over the top, Oribe Peralta did brilliantly to hold off two Monterrey defenders, then turned and hit a stellar shot over Jonathan Orozco from 25 yards. Monterrey was on top and looking like the more likely team to score in the first two-thirds of the game, but after 69 minutes, it was Santos that had the lead.

It appeared that Monterrey were going to head to Torreon down a goal and with little chance to progress, but they were rescued. In second-half stoppage time, Humberto Suazo was fouled by Felipe Baloy in the penalty box, and the referee gave the Rayados a penalty. Suazo stepped up and converted the penalty to make it 1-1, giving his side a chance heading into the second leg.

Santos are in a good position to finally break their string of runner-up finishes, but they should have ended the first leg in a stronger position.

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