After conceding two goals in the opening ten minutes, Santos Laguna scored four of their own in a 10-minute span late in the second half to earn a comprehensive 4-2 victory against the New York Red Bulls. The result sees Santos advance to the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League semifinals with a 6-2 aggregate win.
With a 0-2 away win from the first leg, the Laguneros were in a fairly comfortable position combing into this one. But the visitors jumped out to a surprise lead and quickly erased the deficit. Omir Fernández made it 0-1 (2-1) in just the 4th minute, before Daniel Royer leveled the aggregate five minutes later.
The 0-2 (2-2) scoreline made it anyone’s game; if that result had held, it would’ve taken a penalty shootout to separate the sides.
Santos struggled to react to the early deficit; although they created more chances than the Red Bulls, they only managed to put one on target in the opening half.
But they came out energized in the second half and began to pin the Red Bulls in their own defensive third. A breakthrough seemed inevitable, but chance after chance went begging.
Then, in the 72nd minute, José Javier Abella made it 1-2 (3-2) and in a blink, the entire game changed. Santos pressed the advantage hard, and the Red Bulls’ resolute defense melted away.
Brian Lozano made it 2-2 (4-2) in the 76th, running on to a through ball slipped in behind the defense and getting to it just ahead of the onrushing Luis Robles; the momentum was now firmly in the hosts’ favor.
Three minutes later, Diego Valdes put Santos Laguna ahead on the night, 3-2 (5-2); then, in the 81st, Lozano added an exclamation point to the win with a golazo from within his own half to give Santos the definitive 4-2 (6-2) victory.
With the 4-2 (6-2) win, Santos advances to the semifinals while New York is eliminated.
Santos: Jonathan Orozco, Hugo Rodríguez, Hugo Nervo, Jesús Angulo, José Javier Abella, Marcelo Correa, José Juan Vázquez, Diego Valdes, Julio César Furch (Ulises Rivas 86′), Brian Lozano (Gerardo Arteaga 86′), Marlos Moreno (Deiner Quiñones 70′).
Red Bulls: Luis Robles, Aaron Long, Tim Parker, Sean Davis, Connor Lade, Michael Murillo, Florian Valot (Derrick Etienne 65′), Daniel Royer, Omir Fernández (Mathias Jörgensen 65′), Bradley Wright-Phillips, Kaku (Andreas Ivan 82′).