CONCACAF Champions League: Monterrey’s late drama

An 80th-minute equalising penalty sent Monterrey through to the CONCACAF Champions League final at the expense of Cruz Azul on Wednesday.For much of the game, however, the result did not appear to be heading the 2010 Mexican Apertura champion’s way.

Fellow Mexican outfit Cruz Azul had scored a crucial away goal in a 2-1 loss in the first leg of the tie on March 16, and looked favourite to make the final after midfielder Cesar Villaluz scored in the 23rd minute of the second leg.

But the away side was awarded a penalty in the 80th minute after Chile defender Walter Ponce committed a foul.

Ironically, it was Ponce’s international team-mate Humberto Suazo who duly converted, sending Monterrey 3-2 up and into the final, where their opponents will be Major League Soccer club Real Salt Lake.

Real Salt Lake are the first side from the US to reach the final of CONCACAF continental competition since 2000, when LA Galaxy won the Champions’ Cup.