Santos Vs. Monterrey: Mexican League Final Preview

Pablo ImazContributor IDecember 2, 2010

CARSON, CA - JULY 16:  Fernando Arce #5 of Santos Laguna takes a free kick in the first half during their SuperLiga match against CD Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center on July 16, 2008 in Carson, California. Chivas USA defeated Santos 1-0.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Billed as the “Battle of the North,” Santos and Monterrey lock horns Thursday in the first leg of the final of Mexico’s Apertura 2010 that is delicately balanced on paper.

For Santos, the memory of last year's final still hurts. Captain Oswaldo Sanchez and coach Ruben Omar Romano have both said this week that being just one penalty kick away from winning the title six months ago and then losing has made the team stronger and more united.

A physically strong team from the unfashionable city of Torreon, Coahuila, Santos finished the regular season just two points behind Monterrey, having let in one goal less than their northern rival. Monterrey scored one more over the 17 games.

The statistics indicate there will be ...

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