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2018 Liga BBVA Bancomer, Clausura 2018 - Finals
  • Djaniny (71')
  • Julio Furch (89')
  • Luis Quiñónes (53')
1st Leg
1st Leg

Santos Laguna storms back to beat Toluca in Clausura final first leg

Santos' Djaniny scored the equalizer for his team in a comeback win against Toluca in the Clausura final. Getty Images

Goals from Djaniny Tavares and Julio Furch helped Santos Laguna come from behind to defeat Toluca 2-1 in the first leg of the Liga MX 2018 Clausura final on Thursday in Estadio Corona.

Luis Quinones put Toluca ahead in the 53rd minute, but the season's top scorer Djaniny rounded keeper Alfredo Talavera and leveled the score in the 71st, with Furch netting the winner in the 89th.

Toluca could've been 2-0 up within the first six minutes, with Quinones and then Rubens Sambueza striking the frame of the goal and Santos looking nervous early on.

In the 23rd minute, Santos winger Jonathan Rodriguez appeared to beat his defender onto a floated ball into the box. However, the Uruguay international fell to the ground, hoping to hear a whistle behind him. There was no call.

In the second half, Toluca once again jumped out of the gate, intending to overwhelm their opponent. Seven minutes in, they finally broke through. Quinones was put through by fellow Colombian Fernando Uribe.

It was Quinones' sixth goal of the season and first in the postseason. Uribe, Toluca's scoring leader in the 2018 Clausura, was credited with his second assist in six days, as he also contributed to the 4-1 semifinal second-leg win against Tijuana.

Santos Laguna improved after that, dominating possession and laying siege to the opposition goal as Toluca sought to hold onto its lead.

Santos Laguna's reward came with Djaniny stealing in ahead of Mexico international Talavera to equalize and Furch finding a delicate finish from Brian Lozano's left-wing cross to hand Santos the lead.

Moments after the Furch goal, lights went out in the stadium's north tower, stopping play for a few moments before eventually resuming. The interruption extended the game seven minutes into stoppage time before handing Santos an important victory.

Toluca has been the dominant team in Liga MX this season and finished the regular season in first position, but Santos Laguna has knocked out Tigres and Club America -- two of the title favorites -- in the playoffs so far.

The second leg will take place at Toluca's Estadio Nemesio Diez on Sunday, as the club looks for its 11th Liga MX title and Santos their sixth.

ESPN FC writer Eric Gomez contributed to this story.

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