Cardozo gives Monterrey CCL title

Monterrey repeated as CONCACAF Champions League titlist Wednesday night, but it sure wasn't simple.

With star striker Humbero Suazo, author of both goals in last week's first leg, suspended for the title-series finale, the Rayados created nearly nothing offensively until the finish, when Neri Cardozo delivered with one sensational run.

Cardozo's goal in the 82nd minute trimmed Santos Laguna's margin of victory in the second leg to 2-1, giving Monterrey a 3-2 aggregate advantage in the all-Mexican final.

Monterrey, which wins a return trip to the FIFA Club World Cup, slated for next December in Japan, becomes the fourth team to repeat as champion, joining countrymen Cruz Azul (twice) and Pachuca. Mexico City's Cruz Azul won a record three in a row from 1969 through 1971.

The Galaxy reached the quarterfinals in the tournament, losing to Toronto FC, which lost to Santos in the semifinals. They'll be in the next edition, which is slated to begin in late July.

Santos, playing at home in Torreon, evened the series at two goals apiece with strikes at the end of the first half and near the start of the second. Daniel Ludueña fired inside the right post from just above the box three minutes into first-half stoppage, and Oribe Peralta fired to the top-right corner in the 51st minute, following Rodolfo Salinas' failed bicycle-kick attempt after Monterrey goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco slapped away a Carlos Quintero cross.

Monterrey put only two shots on target, but the second was a worthy winner. After a Santos turnover, Cardozo was fed just inside the midfield stripe and took off on a 50-yard run. He beat two defenders with a quick give-and-go with Walter Ayovi, chested down the return pass just outside the box and half-volleyed a deflected shot inside the left post.


CONCACAF Champions League

2011-12 -- Monterrey (Mexico)

2010-11 -- Monterrey (Mexico)

2009-10 -- Pachuca (Mexico)

2008-09 -- Atlante (Mexico)

CONCACAF Champions' Cup

2008 -- Pachuca (Mexico)

2007 -- Pachuca (Mexico)

2006 -- America (Mexico)

2005 -- Saprissa (Costa Rica)

2004 -- Alajuelense (Costa Rica)

2003 -- Toluca (Mexico)

2002 -- Pachuca (Mexico)

2000 -- Los Angeles Galaxy (U.S.)

1999 -- Necaxa (Mexico)

1998 -- D.C. United (U.S.)

1997 -- Cruz Azul (Mexico)

1996 -- Cruz Azul (Mexico)

1995 -- Saprissa (Costa Rica)

1994 -- Cartagines (Costa Rica)

1993 -- Saprissa (Costa Rica)

1992 -- America (Mexico)

1991 -- Puebla (Mexico)

1990 -- America (Mexico)

1989 -- Pumas UNAM (Mexico)

1988 -- Olimpia (Honduras)

1987 -- America (Mexico)

1986 -- Alajuelense (Costa Rica)

1985 -- Defence Force (Trinidad & Tobago)

1984 -- Violette (Haiti)

1983 -- Atlante (Mexico)

1982 -- Pumas UNAM (Mexico)

1981 -- Transvaal (Suriname)

1980 -- Pumas UNAM (Mexico)

1979 -- FAS (El Salvador)

1978 -- Leones Negros (Mexico), Comunicaciones (Guatemala) and Defence Force (Trinidad & Tobago)

1977 -- America (Mexico)

1976 -- Aguila (El Salvador)

1975 -- Atletico Español (Mexico)

1974 -- Municipal (Guatemala)

1973 -- Transvaaal (Dutch Guyana)

1972 -- Olimpia (Honduras)

1971 -- Cruz Azul (Mexico)

1970 -- Cruz Azul (Mexico)

1969 -- Cruz Azul (Mexico)

1968 -- Toluca (Mexico)

1967 -- Alianza (El Salvador)

1963 -- Haïtien (Haiti)

1962 -- Guadalajara (Mexico)