Soccer  > General Soccer  > Santos wears down Jabloteh 1-0
July 29, 2010, 11:12 AM
MACOYA, Trinidad - Rodrigo Ruiz scored in the 83rd minute for Santos, lifting the Mexican side past San Juan Jabloteh 1-0 on Tuesday in the opening match of the CONCACAF Champions League.

The result gives Santos the edge in the Preliminary Round series, which moves to Mexico next week where the winner on aggregate will advance to Group B with the Columbus Crew, Municipal and the Brujas-Joe Public winner.

Ruiz ran onto a slowly rolled ball inside the six after it was served across by Oribe Peralta, who ran past defender Jose Leon Hoyo to near the end line. Ruiz and Peralta were two of three substitutes from Santos' 4-1 victory over Atlante in the opening round of the Mexican Apertura used against Jabloteh by manager Ruben Omar Romano.

Romano employed an entirely different starting 11 from the lineup against Atlante, but Santos still had the better of play for the first 10 minutes, including a Juan Pablo Santiago's header from Rodrigo Ruiz's cross at the 6 that cleared the bar.

After withstanding the early surge, San Juan Jabloteh then began to dominate possession and chances, and had the better of play for the remainder of the first half. But it shot high and wide, not creating much that troubled Santos keeper Miguel Becerra.

Despite being outplayed for much of the half, Santos had one more clear chance in the first 45 minutes when Jaime Toledo split the centerbacks with a pass for Peralta, who took one touch at the arc into the area before pulling a right-footed shot wide of the left post in the 38th.

Jabloteh, which had not played a match since July 9 due to the TT Pro League's midseason break, finally tested Bercerra in the 58th when Marvin Oliver hit a shot from the top of the area that deflected on its way in, forcing the Santos keeper to dive at the right post to smother the ball.

Atualia Guerra had a pair of chances within a minute from inside the area with just under 15 minutes remaining, but put one too close to Bercerra and put the other well wide of the far post.

Santos is trying to repeat its run from the inaugural Champions League, when it reached the semifinals before being eliminated by eventual champion Atlante.

This is the second consecutive appearance in the Champions League for Jabloteh. However, after advancing past Panamanian side San Francisco in the Preliminary Round, it lost all six matches in the Group Stage.

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