While the Dynamo had the weekend off to rest their legs ahead of Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal second leg, Santos Laguna was in action Saturday night against Atlante. Los Guerreros defeated the visitors 2-1 to extend their unbeaten streak in Liga MX to four games.
U.S. men's national team forward Herculez Gomez gave Santos a lead right before halftime and Mexican national team forward Oribe Peralta scored the game-winner in the 59th minute for his team-leading fifth goal of the season. The win improves Santos to 4-3-2 on the season and moves them into fourth place in Liga MX.
Most importantly for the Dynamo, Santos manager Pedro Caixinha chose to start 10 players who started last Tuesday's 1-0 loss to the Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. The only addition was midfielder Nestor Calderon who played the first 45 minutes on Saturday after playing the second 45 minutes on Tuesday. Six players who played 90 minutes against the Dynamo on Tuesday - including goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez - also played 90 minutes Saturday against Atlante.
Much has been written about Santos Laguna's success at Estadio Torreon in Champions League play. In the 2011-12 Champions League tournament, including the play-in game, Santos went 7-0 at home with a +21 goal differential.
For the Dynamo to advance to the semifinals, Houston will have to win, draw or lose by no more than one goal. The only one-goal score line that would not result in Houston automatically advancing is a 1-0 Santos Laguna win. In that instance, the two teams would be tied 1-1 on aggregate and the series would go to extra time and penalty kicks if necessary.
Wednesday's second leg kicks off at 7 p.m. CT and can be seen nationally on FOX Soccer. The official Dynamo viewing party will be held at The Richmond Arms Pub at 5920 Richmond Avenue.