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TFC out of CONCACAF Champions League after loss to Santos

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The Canadian Press
10/24/2012 10:40:45 PM
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TORREON, Mexico -- Toronto FC's misery continues.

The Major League Soccer side crashed out of the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday thanks to a 1-0 defeat against Mexico's Santos Laguna.

Herculez Gomez scored on a stunning second-half volley to send Toronto packing and help his team advance to the next round.

The U.S. international chested down a ball outside the Toronto penalty area in the 73rd minute before rifling a shot past the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Freddy Hall.

Santos, which led Toronto by three points in the group coming in, only needed a tie to advance.

Toronto FC, meanwhile, needed to win by three goals or score four or more and win by two to move on.

The Reds could have had a 3-0 lead inside the first 20 minutes of action but wasted a number of excellent scoring chances.

Reggie Lambe found himself in on a partial breakaway in the 18th minute but the midfielder couldn't beat Santos 'keeper Miguel Becerra.

The hosts took control after that and Toronto rarely threatened the rest of the way.

Santos forward Carlos Quintero blasted a shot off the post that stayed out on a free kick in the 44th minute and Hall made a big save off Edgar Lugo in the 68th to keep things scoreless.

Toronto defender Jeremy Hall then cleared a shot off the line in the 70th minute as Santos continued to press before Gomez broke the deadlock moment later.

Wednesday's scenario would have been different if Toronto had not given up goals in the 90th minute and stoppage time in a 3-1 loss to the Mexicans at BMO Field on Aug. 28.

Toronto, in the midst of an 0-9-4 run in league play, has now gone 1-6-2 in all competitions since that Santos defeat.

The match marked the second game Toronto has played in Torreone this season. Santos thumped the Reds 6-2 in April in the semifinals of the 2011-12 competition, scoring four unanswered goals in the second half.

Toronto (5-20-8), which sits dead last in the MLS standings, wraps up league play Sunday in Columbus (14-12-7).

Suarez and Gomez (Photo: David Becker/Getty Images)

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(Photo: David Becker/Getty Images)
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