MEXICO CITY, June 1 Santos Laguna won the
Mexican championship on Sunday, drawing 1-1 with Cruz Azul to
clinch the title a year after barely escaping relegation.
Santos, from the northern desert city of Torreon, won the
two-leg final 3-2 on aggregate to clinch their third
championship and extend Cruz Azul's title drought.
The Mexico City team, considered one of Mexico's four
biggest clubs, won the last of their eight championships in
Last year, Santos Laguna escaped relegation on the last day
of the season -- with a 2-0 win over Cruz Azul.
Santos, 2-1 ahead from the first leg, got off to an
excellent start when Argentine midfielder Daniel Luduena picked
up a rebound outside the area and fired into the top corner in
the 17th minute.
Ecuador forward Christian Benitez was close to a second
when he hit the post.
But Santos had to endure a nerve-wracking finale after
Jaime Lozano turned Gerardo Torrado's free kick into the net in
the 83rd minute.
Coach Daniel Guzman, who in the last five years has helped
save Atlas, Tecos UAG and Santos from relegation, was delighted
to be involved in a final for a change.
"I've topped off five years of saving teams from relegation
by winning the championship, nothing compares to this, I've
dreamed of this moment," he told reporters.
(Reporting by Carlos Calvo; Editing by Peter Rutherford)