The Houston Dynamo saw their 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League run come to an end Wednesday night with a 3-0 loss to Santos Laguna at Estadio Corona. Santos took the series on aggregate 3-0, handing Houston their first loss of the tournament.
The home side got on the board in the 23rd minute when Warren Creavalle was whistled for a foul on Oribe Peralta in Houston's penalty box. Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall saved the initial penalty kick from Juan Pablo Rodriguez, but the Santos Laguna midfielder followd up the attempt and poked the ball across the line before Hall could fully recover.
Santos doubled their lead - and took a series lead - in the 28th minute when Herculez Gomez took advantage of a miscommunication between Hall and Bobby Boswell. Gomez beat Boswell to a long ball and smacked it home from the top of the Dynamo's box to increase the Santos lead.
With Houston pressing for the potential series winner, Santos midfielder Osmar Mares found Marc Crosas open at the back post in the 77th minute for game's third and final goal.
Despite the fact that Houston outshot Santos 13-12, the visitors were only able to force two saves from Oswaldo Sanchez.
Houston's best chance came in the 89th minute when Brian Ching's header from the six-yard box sailed just over the crossbar.
The Dynamo finished the 2012-13 CCL tournament with a 3-1-2 record. By virtue of advancing to the 2012 MLS Cup final, Houston will compete in the 2013-14 CCL tournament. Their group stage opponents will be announced in May with matches to begin in late summer.
Santos Laguna advances to the semifinal round of the tournament to face the Seattle Sounders.
Houston will now turn their attention to league play with the Texas Derby on Sunday at FC Dallas. It will be the lone regular season match of 2013 for the Dynamo and FC Dallas, with the victor earning the rights to El Capitan, a Civil War-era mountain howitzer. The match will kick off at 12 noon and can be seen nationally on ESPN2.
Santos Laguna vs. Houston Dynamo
CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals - Leg 2
March 13, 2013 Estadio Corona, Torreon, Mexico
Santos: Juan Pablo Rodriguez (unassisted) 23
Santos: Herculez Gomez (Nestor Calderon) 28
Santos: Marc Crosas (Osmar Mares) 77
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Warren Creavalle (Andrew Driver 75), Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor, Kofi Sarkodie; Boniek Garcia, Adam Moffat, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis (Jason Johnson 86); Giles Barnes (Brian Ching 67); Will Bruin
Substitutes not used: Eric Brunner, Anthony Arena, Luiz Camargo, Corey Ashe
Santos Laguna: Oswaldo Sanchez; Jorge Estrada, Rafael Figueroa, Felipe Baloy (Aaron Galindo 82), Osmar Mares; Juan Pablo Rodriguez, Rodolfo Salinas; Nestor Calderon (Cesar Ibanez 73), Darwin Quintero, Herculez Gomez; Oribe Peralta (Marc Crosas 46)
Substitutes not used: Julio Gonzalez, Candido Ramirez, Edgar Gerardo Lugo, Mario Cardenas
Houston: Warren Creavalle (caution) 22
Santos Laguna: Rodolfo Salinas (caution) 31
Referee: Enrico Wijngaarde (SUR)
Referee's Assistants: Ricardo Louisville, Egbert Paesch
4th Official: Rudolph Angela