Santos Laguna fought to a 1-1 draw with Toluca on Sunday at the Estadio Nemesio Diez, winning the Liga MX title 3-2 on aggregate.
It's the sixth crown for the club, which will celebrate its 35th anniversary in the fall. Santos last won the league in the 2015 Clausura, when Pedro Caixinha took the No. 8 seed all the way to the title.
Robert Siboldi's men had a much better regular season this time around, finishing in a three-way tie for second and entering the Liguilla as the No. 4 seed. They got past Tigres in the quarter-finals thanks to the better regular season finish after a 2-2 aggregate result. In the semi-final, Santos thrashed America 4-1 in the first leg and kept control of a 2-2 draw in the second leg to move into the final.
After a 2-1 victory in the first leg of the final, Santos came out to expand its lead in the second. The goal came in the 10th minute with Julio Furch bringing down a long pass from the back and placing a low shot past Toluca goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera.
The Red Devils pushed to find the two goals needed and got within one thanks to Gabriel Hauche's 82nd-minute goal. Despite charging forward for the final eight minutes of the match, Toluca couldn't repeat the feat and Santos was crowned champion.
The victory completed a remarkable turnaround for Santos, which finished 14th in the Apertura. Djaniny was the top scorer during the regular season with 14 goals, while winter arrival Jose Juan "Gallito" Vazquez improved the team in the middle. Despite losing center back Nestor Araujo to injury in the March international window, Santos still was able to remain strong at the back with the partnership of Carlos Izquierdoz and Gerardo Alcoba.
Santos now will be able to celebrate its title before taking part in July 15's Campeon de Campeones match against Tigres, the Apertura winner. The winner of that match will play a match against reigning MLS champion Toronto FC as part of a new partnership between the leagues. Santos and Toluca both qualified for the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League by virtue of making the final.