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Santos face Monterrey in soccer final

May 17, 2012

Santos Laguna will play Monterrey in the final of Mexico’s Clausura 2012, after completing a spectacular last-minute comeback in Sunday night’s playoff semifinal against champions Tigres.

Tigres led 2-0 with just four minutes left to play, only for Santos to suddenly draw level through Oribe Peralta’s quick-fire double.

Having finished top of the league stage, Santos only needed a tie to progress to the final. The Torreon side will face Monterrey, who beat Club America 2-0 on Saturday evening.

The first leg of the final will be played in Monterrey on Thursday, May 17, at 9 p.m., with the reverse fixture in Torreon on Sunday, May 20 at 8 p.m.

Mexico’s northern clubs have dominated of late, but Santos might need a lucky break, having lost four finals in the past two years. Monterrey will have the psychological edge, after beating Santos 5-2 on aggregate in last month’s CONCACAF Champions League final.

For a more in-depth review of the semis, see my piece for Soccer365.com

Soccer club spurns adulterous dating site’s millions

In what appears an elaborate publicity stunt, a morally dubious Canadian dating site offered to sponsor local soccer side Atlas this week, through a deal that would have seen its famous red-and-black shirt converted to pink and black.

Presumably seeking greater exposure in Mexico, Ashley Maddison – a social network for facilitating extramarital affairs – offered a whopping 7.5 million dollars to sponsor the Guadalajara-based team over the next three seasons.

“The values, philosophy and tradition of Club Atlas come before any economic offer,” read a club statement, firmly denying that a  deal had been made.

Atlas was Guadalajara’s best supported side this season, drawing more fans to the historic Jalisco Stadium than wealthier city rivals Chivas at their plush Omnilife Stadium.

Atlas drew 237,000 fans during the Clausura 2012, while Chivas, who endured a poor season but are generally considered Mexico’s most popular team, received only 211,000. Just 152,000 people attended Zapopan’s Tres de Marzo stadium to watch Estudiantes Tecos, who were demoted from Mexico’s top division.

Due to higher ticket prices, Chivas still earned slightly more than Atlas, taking 23.6 million pesos (1.7 million dollars) in revenue, compared to Atlas’ 22.8 million.

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