GUADALAJARA, Mexico – The US flag will be flying high during the finals of the 2012 Mexican Clausura championship.
American Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna snatched two late goals to tie Sunday’s semifinal second leg 2-2 with Tigres UANL and advance to the final. The aggregate goal series finished tied 3-3 with Santos moving on due to their better regular season record.
Gomez entered the field after just six minutes of the second half and injected some energy from the right wing with los Guerreros down 2-0.
Thirty minutes later, Santos were still behind, but Oribe Peralta struck twice in the last four minutes to send them into their second final of 2012.
Gomez and Santos Laguna will face Monterrey in the finals, a repeat of the CONCACAF Champions League finasl, a series which los Rayados won 3-2.
Highlights: Santos 2, Tigres 2
Gomez, a US national team hopeful, is set to become the first American since Edgar Castillo to feature in a finals in Mexico. Castillo was also wearing the green-and-white hoops of Santos back in the 2008 Clausura.
It wasn't such good news for Jeff Cunningham and Comunicaciones in Guatemala. They lost 2-1 against bitter rivals Municipal, bringing Cunningham's season to a premature end at the semifinal stage.
Cunningham came on late in the game when los Cremas were pressuring for an equalizer.
In Bolivia, Alejandro Meleán's Oriente Petrolero came within three minutes of winning the league title, but a late goal from Nacional Potosí tied the score at 2-2 and dropped Oriente to third place.
Meleán played the full 90.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. Contact him at email@example.com.