Santos Laguna continued its dominance of Major League Soccer teams in the CONCACAF Champions League with a 3-0 victory against the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday.
The Mexican team advanced to the semifinals with a 3-1 aggregate victory and will face the Seattle Sounders in early April. Last year, Santos eliminated the Sounders and Toronto FC each by an aggregate score of 7-3.
Santos dominated Houston from the beginning of the match in Torreón. Last year’s Champions League runners up had nine shots on target to two for Houston.
The first goal came in the 23rd minute. Houston defender Warren Creavalle got tangled up with Oribe Peralta in front of goal, and the two players tumbled to the ground. The referee signaled a foul. Goalkeeper Tally Hall stopped the penalty kick from Juan Pablo Rodriguez, but the ball bounced off the crossbar and landed in front of goal. A heap of players crashed into the ball, causing it to roll across the line. Rodriguez was credited with the goal.
U.S. international Herculez Gomez gave Santos the aggregate lead just five minutes later. Hall came out for a ball that had been played by Néstor Calderón. Defender Bobby Boswell pulled up to let Hall get the ball, but Gomez beat them both to the ball and shot from just outside the box.
Houston’s best chances came off set pieces, but for the most part, Santos appeared in control throughout the match. The third goal came in the 77th minute when Marc Crosas was left completely unmarked at the far post. Osmar Mares sent a cross to Crosas, and he finished with a header.