Toluca needed a win to reach the playoffs, but instead they fell 1-2 to Santos Laguna to keep them out of the Liguilla. Santos was already eliminated from playoff contention but was able to play spoiler for the Diablos Rojos.
The pressure of needing a win made Toluca tentative, as they seemed to be more afraid of conceding a goal than inspired to go out and score one. Santos had no such concerns and the Laguneros threw numbers forward and hit the woodwork twice in the opening 20 minutes (although one of those plays was called off for offside).
Then, in the 26th minute, the Guerreros took the lead. Carlos Izquierdoz jumped highest and headed home a corner kick to make it 0-1 for the visitors and leave Toluca in a hole they never managed to dig themselves out of.
They came close in the 30th minute, however, when Carlos Esquivel’s own headed attempt went just wide of the right-hand post.
In the second half, Santos put another nail in Toluca’s coffin with a second goal in the 75th minute. Diego de Buen played in Djaniny, who brought the ball into the box and then laid it off for Jonathan Rodríguez, who slotted it home to make it 0-2.
The Diablos mustered a little bit of fight with an 89th minute goal from substitute Maikon Leite, but it was far too little, far too late. Time ran out on both the game and Toluca’s season.
With the 1-2 win, Santos reaches 16 points while Toluca remains on 24.
Toluca: Alfredo Talavera, Gerardo Flores, Paulo da Silva, Osvaldo González, Carlos Rodríguez (Maikon Leite 59′), Antonio Ríos, Erbin Trejo (Sinha 46′), Carlos Esquivel, Pablo Barrientos, Rodrigo Gómez (Diego Gama 67′), Fernando Uribe.
Santos: Agustín Marchesín, José Javier Abella (Freddy Hinestroza 17′), Carlos Izquierdoz, Néstor Araujo, Gerardo Arteaga, Ulises Dávila (Diego de Buen 61′), Jesús Molina, Ulises Rivas, Walter Sandoval, Jonathan Rodríguez, Djaniny Tavares (Martín Bravo 89′).