American Exports: Gomez helps Santos cruise in CCL play

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Last season’s CONCACAF Champions League runners-up Santos Laguna are making quick work of Group 1 in this edition of the competition.

On Wednesday, Herculez Gomez’s side plastered Águila 4-0 away in El Salvador to make it three wins out of three matches for Los Guerreros.

Gomez went 73 minutes for Santos Laguna, who were the dominant team despite Águila needing a victory to keep any hope of qualification alive in the Estadio Cuscatlán.

Eighteen-year-old US U-20 international Benji Joya was called onto the bench for his second consecutive game, but didn’t see any action.

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The result was bad news for Toronto FC. The Canadian team now needs to win in El Salvador next week and then earn three difficult points in Torreón against Santos on Oct. 24 to have any chance of qualification for the CCL quarterfinals.

In Mexico’s Copa MX, Greg Garza was a menace down Club Tijuana’s left flank, contributing to his team’s 2-1 victory over Pumas UNAM in both halves of the field.

Joe Corona came on after 58 minutes with the game tied at 1-1 and added fluency and impetus to Tijuana’s attacking play, which helped the Xolos secure the vital victory with a 69th-minute goal from Raúl Enríquez.

The result for Club Tijuana means they have qualified for the quarterfinals of the Copa MX and will play Correcaminos of the second division next week. José Torres’ Pachuca also made the quarters and will play Neza, while Michael Orozco Fiscal’s San Luis face Dorados de Sinaloa.

The quarterfinal ties will be decided over one leg.                   

Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at tom.marshall.mex@gmail.com.