[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Defending MLS champion Colorado relinquished first place in group B of the Concacaf Champions League Tuesday night when Santos Laguna inflicted a 4-1 pounding at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Santos dominated play from the start and forged its impressive victory by scoring twice in each half.
Daniel Luduena and Oribe Peralta tallied 13 minutes apart in the first half, and goals separated by seven minutes from Carlos Quintero and Christian Suarez wrapped up the victory that moved Santos (2-1-0, 6 pts.) into a first-place tie with Isidro Metapan, which pulled off a 2-1 victory at Real Espana on Tuesday.
The Rapids (1-1-1, 4 pts.) lost for the first time in group play and dropped to third place. They managed only a consolation goal from substitute Brian Mullan in the 77th minute, six minutes after Suarez had scored.
Guadaloupe international defender Miguel Commingues, who signed with Colorado last week, debuted for the Rapids as a halftime replacement for left back Danny Earls. Coach Gary Smith rested veteran defender Tyrone Marshall and paired Scott Palguta with Marvell Wynne in the middle, with Drew Moor moving to right back, and Santos overran the makeshift back line repeatedly.
Interim head coach Eduardo Rergis, director of the Santos Laguna youth system, directed the team from the bench. Former Mexican international Benjamin Galindo was officially named as Diego Cocca’s replacement a few hours before kickoff and will take charge this week.
In the fourth round of group play, Colorado plays at home against Real Espana next Wednesday, and Santos hosts Metapan a week from Thursday.