A second-half brace from Humberto Suazo gave Monterrey a healthy 2-0 advantage over Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna in the first leg of the two teams’ CONCACAF Champions League final showdown on Wednesday at Monterrey's Estadio Tecnológico.
After sitting out a pair of league games with a groin strain, Gomez was given the all-clear to start in the attack as he looked to add to his six goals in the competition. However, he was unable to take advantage of the few chances that came his way.
Spurred on by a vocal home crowd, Monterrey controlled most of the proceedings, but were foiled by the defensive efforts of Panama international Felipe Baloy and Santos goalkeeper Oswaldo Sánchez. On the other end, Santos didn’t have many clear-cut chances, though Gomez had a shot blocked and Carlos Quintero opted to square instead of shoot when through on goal, squandering his team’s best chance of the half.
The home side continued to press hard for an opener, knowing they would have a tough task on their hands going to Torreón without a goal. Seconds after Gomez flashed a header just wide, Aldo de Nigris cut back for Suazo, who hammered the ball past Sánchez to give Monterrey the lead.
Gomez had a long-range effort deflected for an easy save, but soon after, Suazo made it 2-0 with an excellent individual effort as he weaved his way through a series of defenders before finishing through Sánchez’s legs to give his side a comfortable advantage heading into next week's second leg.