Game: Club de Fútbol Pachuca vs. Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.
Date: Saturday, October 20th
Time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 12:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Hidalgo (Pachuca, Hgo.)
Referees: REF: Jorge Isaac Rojas Castillo, AR1: Marvin Cesar Torrentera Rivera, AR2: José Alfredo López Cruz, 4TH: José Alfredo Peñaloza Soto
Santos Laguna (7W 3D 2L) sits just two points behind superlider Cruz Azul (8W 2D 2L). Pachuca (4W 3D 5L) sits two points out of a Liguilla spot. The two teams will meet in Pachuca tonight as the 2018 Apertura starts to head toward the playoffs.
Santos has been able to continue the form that saw them lift the 2018 Clausura trophy despite losing of some of the key players from that team. Julio Furch has nine goals and Jonathan Rodríguez has seven, good enough to be tied for first and tied for third respectively.
It’s not just their offense that has been impressive. Goalkeepers Jonathan Orozco and Carlos Acevedo have only allowed thirteen goals between them is tied for fourth-least in Liga MX. Three of their defenders are regular call-ups to the Mexico National Team - José Abella, Jesús Angulo, and Gerardo Arteaga who is often a late sub.
Pachuca on the the other hand has struggled to climb up the table since losing their first three league matches. The task has not been made any easier with star midfielder Erick Gutíerrez moving to PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands back in August.
While known more for producing young players like Gutíerrez and Hirving ““Chucky” Lozano, Pachuca has been lead as of late by 45 year old goalkeeper Óscar ““El Conejo” Pérez. Pérez won his first game out against Cruz Azul, handing La Maquina just their second loss of the season. He did not fare so well against Toluca (7W 1D 4L) the following week, losing 2-1.
Still, Pachuca have hung around and finds themselves in a position where they can still make the Liguilla. But the road will not be easy, with games against Santos and Monterrey (6W 2D 4L). If they can win games against the teams further down the table they’ll be in a good position to advance.