An early disallowed goal and a late concession forced CF Montréal to depart Estadio Corona facing a 1-0 aggregate deficit in their 2022 Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 series against Liga MX side Santos Laguna on Tuesday evening.

Substitute Jesús Ocejo found the go-ahead goal for the hosts on 88 minutes, giving Santos a one-goal advantage ahead of Leg 2 at Stade Olympique on Feb. 22.

CF Montréal thought they secured a dream start just six minutes into the contest, when forward Romell Quioto scored after a stellar individual effort that saw him elude his defender in the penalty box and cash home at the far post. The goal was disallowed via Video Review, however, as wingback Lassi Lappalainen was called for a foul in the build-up by referee Oshane Nation.

Santos started to control the action in the aftermath of the disallowed goal, with two big chances coming through striker Eduardo Aguirre. The first came on a counterattack that saw Aguirre find two open shots, but both his initial attempt and the rebound were denied by a huge double-save from Montréal goalkeeper Sebastian Breza. Aguirre nearly struck again in the 38th minute with a snap header off a corner kick that clung off the post.

Montréal grew into the game in the second half, generating three solid chances right as the contest reached the hour-mark. Joaquin Torres and Rida Zouhir each saw distance shots go just wide of the crossbar, with Quioto also teeing up a laser shot in the 70th minute that forced Santos goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo into a reaction save.

But it was Santos who struck for the late go-ahead finish, with Ocejo nodding home a close-range header as stoppage time loomed after Kamal Miller was beaten near the endline and a cross deflected off Joel Waterman.

Goals

  • 88' - SAN - Jesús Ocejo | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: It was a frustrating end to the match for Montréal, who were moments away from heading into the second leg in a 0-0 aggregate deadlock, only to surrender Ocejo's late goal. They'll also likely feel like they should have had a goal of their own on Quioto's disallowed early finish. Nonetheless, a 1-0 result is far from catastrophic. It still very much keeps Montréal in the series, and they'll no doubt have a raucous crowd at Stade Olympique behind them.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: A scoreless draw at home would have been a lackluster result for a Santos team already struggling in league play, but Ocejo's late heroics rescued them from that fate. It puts Los Guerreros in the driver's seat for the time being.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Victor Wanyama put in a massive shift for CF Montréal in midfield, especially in the first half when Santos put the visitors under a lot of pressure.

Next Up

  • SAN: Friday, Feb. 18 vs. FC Juarez | 10 pm ET | Liga MX
  • MTL: Tuesday, Feb. 22 vs. Santos Laguna | 8:30 pm ET (FS2, TUDN) | Concacaf Champions League