Red Bulls and Santos Laguna roll to first-leg CCL wins

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ORLANDO SIERRA
The MLS side will bring a commanding lead back to New York, while Liga MX's Santos Laguna made easy work of Marathon

Following a night of surprises in the Concacaf Champions League on Tuesday, things held closer to the norm with Wednesday's action, with MLS and Liga MX clubs going unbeaten in the away legs of their last-16 ties.  

The New York Red Bulls were aided by an own goal in claiming a 2-0 win over Atletico Pantoja.  

A scramble in front of goal saw a shot from Bradley Wright-Phillips saved by goalkeeper Odalis Baez, only to see his fine reaction stop come off defender Jean Innocent and trickle into the net for the game's opening goal.  

Daniel Royer added a second for the Red Bulls in the second half, finishing from a narrow angle after having been picked out at the back post by a Kaku cross.  

The win leaves the Red Bulls, who made a run to the CCL semifinals last season, in great position heading into the home leg of the tie.  

Mexico's Santos Laguna earned an even more impressive victory, storming to a 6-2 win over Honduran giants Marathon.  

Javier Marcelo Correa scored the first three goals of the night, rounding out his hat trick with a deflected finish just before halftime.  

Brazilian Doria made it 4-0 before Marathon could muster a response through Marlon Ramírez, but Marlos Moreno had Santos back up four 11 minutes later.  

Julio Furch made it 6-1 before Justin Arboleda netted a second for Marathon that is likely to matter little as the clubs head back to Mexico for the second leg.  

The only underdog to earn a result on the night was El Salvador's Alianza , which held Mexican giant Monterrey to a 0-0 draw.  

The match was not devoid of chances, with the two sides combining for 20 shots, but neither team could find the target.  

New York and the two Liga MX sides will all host the second legs of their respective ties next Wednesday, with the winners from the Red Bulls and Santos Laguna fixtures set to square off in the quarterfinals.  

The winner of Monterrey’s tie will face the winner of the last-16 clash between Atlanta United and Herediano, which is set to see its first leg played on Thursday.

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