Mexican side Santos Laguna sent out their second team to play against Honduran side Real Espana and managed to squeeze out a well earned 3-2 victory at home. Although Espana were able to keep the match close at times, Santos had control for most of the game as they held the lead twice before second half substitute Christian Suarez gave them the lead for good with a 74th minute bullet.
All of this came with a lineup on the field that contained eight players who had not yet seen any first team football with Santos during this season and three more who had seen under 200 combined minutes of it together.
Espana held their ground as the game went along, getting goals from Mario Martinez and Alfredo Mejia, but Santos was clearly the superior side as the game continued. The possession and shots stayed in the Saints’ corner until they finally took the lead for good with Suarez’s strike to preserve the 3-2 win.
Santos – being Group B’s Mexican representative – is rightly seen by most as the most powerful team in the group, which also contains Isidro Metapan and the Colorado Rapids. With what was essentially a second team scoring a trio on Real Espana, the other teams in the group would be wise to watch out when Santos start to take the competition at a full level of seriousness.
Metapan and the Rapids will play their first match in Group B today.
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