Neri Cardozo gave Monterrey its second straight title in the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday, scoring with eight minutes remaining in a 2-1 loss against Santos that earned “Los Rayados” a 3-2 aggregate win.
Cardozo converted after an exchange of passes with second-half substitute Walter Ayovi, whose insertion into the lineup in the 63rd minute was just enough to get Monterrey the crown.
The late goal continued the title frustration for Santos, which lost in a final for the fourth time in three years.
Cardozo’s goal capped a night in which Santos dominated play, but was frustrated by a series of first-half athletic saves by goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco.
Monterrey, which has been held without a goal in only one of its last 18 matches, lost for only the second time in 12 away matches in the Champions League.
“It’s obvious teams don’t win because of us (coaches), but because of the players (…)” Monterrey manager Victor Manuel Vucetich said. “The key is to always work hard and to put together teams with a strong mentality and a constant desire to improve. But I think the credit is for the players. They are the ones who do the work on the field, the ones who make the sacrifices and show their skills. I think we put our grain of sand to get the best out of them, but after that, they do all the work.”