Santos Laguna took a major step toward the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday night, with Daniel Ludena contributing a goal and an assist in the dying stages to beat Toronto 3-1 at BMO Field.
Ludena scored Santos’ second in the 90th minute before teeing-up Candido Ramirez in the second minute of added time. The result moved Santos to the top of Group 1 with six points - three clear of Toronto with two games to play.
Santos, though, will play Aguila in El Salvador and Toronto at home. The Canadian side must play both its remaining games away. Carlos Darwin Quintero opened the scoring for Santos four minutes after half-time but Quincy Amarikwa equalized midway through the second half.
In the 83rd minute of play, a black cat ran onto the field behind TFC keeper Freddy Hall. Hall maintained his focus, making a save while the feline was on the pitch. Witihin minutes after the match, a Twitter account for the cat was estabilished with over 50 followers.
Ludena put Santos ahead in the final minute of normal time when he exchanged passes with Oribe Peralta before shooting across Toronto keeper Freddy Hall.
Ramirez then rounded off the victory in injury time. The result extended Santos unbeaten streak to three with its second win after it had endured a three-game losing streak.
Toronto extended its winless skid to six matches with a fourth defeat but manager Paul Mariner was not too downhearted.
He said: "It's great to play against a fantastic team and if you don't learn from looking at the Santos players and what they do and how simple it is to play high level football, because it’s simple.
"It's not complicated and that's what I want our young boys to take away from the game, the ease of moving the ball and movement, but that takes years of practice."
Allen Guevara netted the only goal of the game in the 42nd minute at Estadio Independencia.