Herculez Gomez scored off of a rebound in the 54th minute, lifting Santos Laguna past the Seattle Sounders 1-0 in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals on Tuesday night.
Santos Laguna, which reached the finals last year before losing to Mexican rival Monterrey, will host the second leg next Tuesday.
In the moments leading up to the goal, Santos Laguna denied the Sounders a scoring opportunity when goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez made a diving save of a shot from the top of the arc by Osvaldo Alonso.
Carlos Quintero quickly started a counterattack, taking the ball down to the top of the restraining arc at Seattle's penalty area. He sent a shot that Sounders goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann blocked. However, the rebound went out toward the left side of the box, where Gomez ran onto it and parked his shot into the upper right corner of the Seattle net.
The teams met in last year's quarterfinals. Santos Laguna won that series on aggregate, 7-3, falling 2-1 in the opener at...