Pachuca’s clean sheet in their First Leg victory proved to be the decisive factor after a breathless second leg in Torreón against an unfortunate Santos Laguna side. Trailing by two, Pedro Caixinha’s side almost pulled off another memorable fightback but despite all their efforts the 4-2 win on the night was not enough. Away goals from Enner Valencia and Dieter Villalpando ensured that Los Tuzos would be facing either León or Toluca in the Final.
Knowing a fast start was needed, Santos came flying out of the traps and pressed Pachuca with an urgency that was perhaps missing from the first leg. Early chances on Conejo Pérez’s goal were a warning for Los Tuzos but before they could adjust, Santos had their break-through. Alonso Escoboza’s corner from the left was powerfully headed home by defender, Raul Figueroa with Pérez left grasping at the air.
Any momentum that the goal gave them was undone less than 10 minutes later when the ever-dangerous, Enner Valencia got behind the Pachuca defence and was brought down by goalkeeper, Oswaldo Sánchez. Both boots were raised and although there appeared to be minimal contact, Valencia went to ground and referee, Marco Rodríguez showed Sánchez a red card.
To make matters worse for Santos, subsititute keeper, Julio González was directly responsible for Pachuca’s equaliser. Receiving a back pass with ample time to clear, González attempted to be a little clever and dummy the on-rushing Valencia. Liga MX’s top scorer stole the ball and was able to roll it into the unguarded net. In less than 10 minutes, all the hard work from the opening spell was undone and pendulum swung back in favour of Pachuca.
With half time approaching, Los Tuzos struck a hammer blow when Dieter Villalpando headed a second to make the aggregate scoreline 4-1. Already in first half stoppage time, 10-man Santos were in need of four unanswered goals after the break and the tie looked dead and buried.
Just after the hour mark, Santos were given a glimmer of hope when Rodríguez showed his second red card of the game. This time it was Walter Ayovi who was penalised for catching Oribe Peralta with a high foot from his follow through of clearing the ball. From the resulting penalty, Juan Pablo Rodriguez made it 2-2 on the night and Santos dreamed of the unlikeliest of comebacks.
In the 77th minute, Javier Orozco headed in the third and Santos pushed on for the two goals needed. Figueroa headed in the fourth in injury time but it was too late and the brave second half display came up just short.
Santos Laguna 4 – 2 Pachuca (Agg 4 – 4 Pachuca win on away goals)