Christian Suarez struck twice as Santos Laguna booked their place in the Mexican Apertura final at the expense of Morelia. Santos clung on for a 3-2 win in the second leg of the semi-final, which brought the teams level at 4-4 on aggregate.
Rather than away goals, the tie was then settled on league positions, and Santos advanced to the final having finished fourth in the Apertura standings, beating Morelia's seventh position. Morelia had gained a 2-1 advantage in the first leg on Wednesday, but as visitors they soon found themselves in trouble in the return match.
Santos powered into a 3-0 lead, with Juan Rodriguez opening the scoring with a penalty after 34 minutes and Suarez then netting in the 52nd and 64th minutes, firstly with a fierce 15-yard shot and then a crashing drive from just outside the penalty area. Morelia had lost Joel Huiqui to a straight red card for the foul on Oribe Peralta which caused the penalty, and yet they still managed a fightback and substitute Angel Sepulveda scored in the 74th and 87th minutes to bring the teams level.
His header and overhead kick were not enough though, as Morelia still needed another goal, and their chances were undermined when midfielder Aldo Ramirez's late dismissal left them with nine men. Santos will face either Queretaro or Tigres Monterrey in the final. They meet again tomorrow, following a goalless first leg.