Monterrey took a huge step toward a second successive CONCACAF Champions League title Wednesday night, using two goals by Humberto Suazo to upend visiting Santos Laguna, 2-0, in the first leg of the all-Mexican final.
The Chilean striker scored in the 60th and 86th minutes to give the Rayados the advantage heading into next week's second leg in Torreon. He finished from Aldo de Nigris' feed for the first goal, then added a splendid finale by beating four defenders on a tight, weaving run into the box.
The goals were his sixth and seventh of the competition. He netted just once during the group phase, then tallied four times -- twice in each leg -- in a quarterfinal victory over Morelia.
Suazo will miss the second leg after picking up a yellow card in the fourth minute, and Santos defenders Felipe Baloy and Omar Mares also will be suspended after they were cautioned.
This is the third all-Mexican final in four tournaments since CONCACAF switched its club championship to the current “league” format in 2008. Atlante beat Cruz Azul in the 2009 final and Pachuca beat Cruz Azul in 2010. Monterrey toppled Real Salt Lake in last year's final.
This will be the seventh straight year, ninth time in 11 editions and 12th in 16 that a Mexican club will win the championship.