CCL: Santos Laguna eliminate Houston Dynamo in quarterfinals


The Houston Dynamo were eliminated by Santos Laguna in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals by a 3-1 aggregate score.

It's hard to explain the how behind tonight's result. In what is normally considered a stellar Dynamo backline, tonight's defensive performance proved to be the culprit to an all too familiar road loss in Mexico.

Heading into the match, the Dynamo held a narrow 1-0 aggregate lead, but three costly defensive mistakes all lead to goals for Santos who won the second leg 3-0 in front of a sold out Estadio Corona.

The Dynamo did well to get through the first 20 minutes unscathed, but the next ten minutes wouldn't be kind to the men in orange. In the 23rd minute, Warren Creavalle was whistled for a foul on Oribe Peralta in the box. Referee Enrico Wijngaarde awarded the home side a penalty kick. Creavalle was inserted in the starting lineup for Corey Ashe who was scratched late due to sickness.

Midfielder Juan Pablo Rodriguez stepped up to the spot, but Tally Hall did well to deflect to shot. Unfortunately for Hall and the Dynamo, the rebound was easily knocked in by Rodriguez for a 1-0 lead.

Just five minutes later, a completely disastrous defensive slip gave Santos a huge advantage - both on the scoreline and mentally. A ball was played way back towards the box, and instead of Bobby Boswell clearing the ball with a streaking Herculez Gomez on his back, he acted like Hall should get to it. Gomez shot it perfectly through the two Dynamo players into the side netting for a 2-0 lead.

With a 2-0 deficit, a Houston goal would have changed everything. That goal just wasn't to be.

In the 77th minute, a Santos cross found second half subsitute Marc Crosas unmarked on the far post. Crosas punished the Dynamo with a third goal and insurmountable comeback.

In the end, the stats weren't all that unkind to Houston. The Dynamo outshot Santos 13-12, but Santos had a much better performcane putting those shots on frame (9-2 on goal). Houston had more corner kicks and open play crosses, but the lack of finishing combined with the defensive mistakes doomed them.

Santos' win eliminates the Dynamo 3-1 on aggregate. Los Guerreros will move on to the semifinals to face the Seattle Sounders, who eliminated Tigres last night.

I'll leave you with our writer Richard's rant. I think he sums it up nicely.

Dynamo fans, what's your take on tonight's result?

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