MIAMI - Mexican champions Monterrey won
the CONCACAF Champions League after a 1-0 win at Major League
Soccer's Real Salt Lake on Wednesday gave them a 3-2 aggregate
victory, maintaining their country's dominance of the regional
A goal on the stroke of half-time from Chilean international
striker Humberto Suazo was enough to give Monterrey their first
title in the championship for North and Central American and
Mexican clubs have won the last six CONCACAF titles while
the United States have not had a victor since L.A. Galaxy in
It was a bitterly disappointing night for Salt Lake, who
sorely missed the influence of suspended captain and midfield
general Kyle Beckerman.
Monterrey, held to a 2-2 draw in the first leg, are
struggling to make the play-offs in the Mexican league but they
showed their quality with an accomplished performance at a venue
where Salt Lake had been unbeaten in 37 previous league and cup
Jason Kreis's team had not lost at Rio Tinto stadium since
May 16th 2009, but they paid the price for a lack of sharpness
in attack, with strikers Fabian Espindola and Alvaro Saborio
both well below-par.
Espindola wasted an early chance when he screwed a shot wide
after bustling into the area and Salt Lake were given a lesson
in composure in the box just before the break.
Sergio Santana played a smart interchange with Suazo,
slipping the ball to him with the outside of his foot, and the
shaven-headed forward made no mistake from close range.
The hosts came out with all guns blazing in the second half
but their usually thoughtful and creative midfield approach was
sacrificed for a more direct style which Monterrey's defence had
little trouble dealing with.
There were some late scrambled attempts from the U.S. team,
with their Argentine playmaker Javier Morales blasting wide in
the final moments, but the Mexicans held firm to complete their
country's 27th triumph since the competition began in 1962.
Monterrey now qualify for the World Club Cup to be held in
Japan in December where they will face the winners of the other
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