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Santos Laguna fightback not enough as Toluca advance to Liga MX semifinals

Santos Laguna put in an inspiring performance, but it wasn’t enough as Toluca progressed to the Liguilla semifinals with a 5-4 aggregate victory on Saturday.

Toluca arrived to this game following away success in the first leg, thrashing Santos Laguna 4-1 at the Estadio Corona. The result forced Santos Laguna to score at least four goals to have any chance of moving on to the semifinals.

In the 21st minute, Santos Laguna scored the all-important breakthrough when Enrique Triverio headed in an own-goal following a corner.

But Santos’ prospects of an incredulous fightback took a big blow when a lovely play from Rubens Sambueza down the left-hand side ended with Antonio Rios scoring the leveler.

Despite needing four goals for the miracle, Santos Laguna were not deterred, and they retook the lead at the stroke of halftime when Ulises Rivas made it 5-3 on aggregate.

In the second half, Toluca were greeted with a Santos Laguna side mounted forward in search of what seemed like an impossible task.

And Julio Furch made things interesting after scoring from a rebound to put Santos within two goals.

With all the momentum in Santos side, Osvaldo Martinez tried his luck from a free-kick, rattling the woodwork only moments later.

Santos may feel hard done as they pushed Santos Laguna to the brink, but at the end, Toluca’s first leg performance was enough to earn the Diablos Rojos a place in the semifinals.