Cruz Azul and América left stunned as León and Santos progress (VIDEO)


Favourites after the first legs, Cruz Azul and Club América suffered similar fates as fight backs from León and Santos Laguna saw both Mexico City giants eliminated on away goals.

Having strolled into the playoffs as league winners, Cruz Azul will be deeply disappointed to have surrendered their advantage to an, albeit dangerous León side, but one who nonetheless finished 13 points worse off than them in the regular season.

However, what will perhaps gall La Máquina even more will be the lead that they threw away last night in a rain soaked DF. Mariano Pavone and Mauro Formica had given Cruz Azul what looked like an unassailable lead with less than 25 minutes played as León looked unable to respond to the fast pace that their hosts had started.

But with half time approaching and the tie seemingly slipping away, Mauro Boselli managed to convert Edwin Hernandez’s low cross and provide a life line.

Amid torrential rain in the second half, the teams knew that one goal would change the dynamics of the tie and having already missed one very presentable opportunity it was the in-form, Luís Montes who danced through the rain and the heart of the Cruz Azul defence to level the match.

Cruz Azul were never able to really react and when substitute, Achille Emana was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Montes it was apparent that it would be yet another deep disappointment for Cruz Azul.

Cruz Azul  2 – 2  León

Later, Club América travelled to Torreón to defend their two-goal advantage from their thrilling first leg with Santos Laguna. Knowing that they trailed Santos came flying out of the traps and Las Águilas were made to pay for the stupidity of Maza Rodriguez. His presense in the centre of defence was a big miss for Antonio Mohamed’s side and they were ultimately made to pay.

A superb pacy opening by Santos eventually yielded it’s reward and it was Rodriguez’s replacement, Juan Valenzuela responsible. His own goal after 28 minutes provided Santos the impetus and his resulting first half substitution, a clear admission from Antonio Mohamed that he was not up to the task.

After the break, Santos did not enjoy the same level of dominance but a hectic final 10 minutes saw the tie change. Ribair Rodríguez pounced on a goalkeeping error to hand Santos the lead and an away goal advantage and when Andrés Rentería curled in a third into the top corner it was game over.

Rubens Sambueza did manage a last gasp consolation to set up a grandstand finish as América needed another with the aggregate score locked at 6-6 but time ran out and Las Águilas limped out on away goals.

Santos Laguna  3 – 1  Club América


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