Soccer  > General Soccer  > Late penalty gives Municipal 2-2 draw
September 15, 2010, 11:27 AM
GUATEMALA CITY - Carlos Castillo converted a penalty in the 87th minute to rally Municipal to a 2-2 draw with Santos Laguna on Tuesday in the CONCACAF Champions League.

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Castillo's goal completed Municipal's comeback from an early two-goal deficit and revived its chances of reaching the knockout round.

Santos improved to seven points atop Group B after three rounds, one point better than the Columbus Crew, which beat Joe Public 3-0 earlier in the evening. Municipal remained in third with two points, one ahead of Joe Public.

Santos will travel to Columbus next to face the Crew on September 21, while Municipal will play Joe Public in Trinidad two days later.

The result ended Santos' four-game winning streak in the Champions League and gave Municipal a draw in all five CCL games at home.

Santos, which was beaten 5-2 by Queretaro on Saturday for only its second loss in 12 games this season, had the better of play from the kickoff and jumped ahead quickly.

Rodrigo "El Pony" Ruiz converted a penalty in the eight minute after Oribe Peralta drew a foul on Municipal goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, holding off defender Yony Flores as he chased a ball into the area and touching it ahead before being hauled down just inside the 18.

It was the second goal in four games in the Champions League for Ruiz, who has appeared four times in the Mexican Apertura - all as a substitute.

Ruiz returned the favor to Peralta in five minutes later, curling a left-footed cross to the 26-year-old forward, who outleapt his marker eight meters from goal and headed it past Penedo.

Municipal players and fans howled for a penalty kick in the 23rd minute when Santos' Jonathan Lacerda appeared to misplay a dropping ball, failing on an attempt to head it away, letting it bounce and strike his left arm at the edge of the six-yard box.

Costa Rican referee Walter Quesada denied the appeals for a foul, apparently determining the handball was not deliberate.

Municipal, however, had regrouped, and pulled within 2-1 five minutes later. Guillermo "Pando" Ramirez bent a corner to just outside the six-yard box, where Marvin Avila headed it forward to an unmarked Mario Rodriguez, who simply nodded it ahead.

Penedo kept alive Municipal's chances by frustrating Peralta shots twice. In the 43rd, he raced off his line to thwart Peralta on a breakaway, and again in the 53rd, diving to block Peralta's header off a free kick from Ruiz.

Santos keeper Miguel Becerra had his moments, too, tipping a looping header over the bar in the 49th.

Municipal twice were denied goals in the second half due to offside, in the 58th and again 10 minutes later.

The Guatemalan side's chances seemed to be damaged further when Darwin Oliva was removed from the field with an injury in the 84th, leaving Municipal with 10 men since it already had used its three substitutes.

It finally equalized on Castillo's penalty after Jaime Vides went down as he and Antonio Olvera challenged shoulder-to-shoulder, resulting in Quesada pointing to the spot.

The result left Monterrey, which defeated Marathon 2-0 earlier Tuesday, as the only unbeaten and untied team in the Champions League.

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