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Match recap: Santos Laguna 3, Club Atlas 1

Julio Furch takes sole possession of the Liga MX goalscoring lead as Santos dominates Atlas 3-1.

Santos Laguna v Tigres UANL - Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Natalia Perales/Getty Images

For the moment, Julio Furch has the top spot in the Liga MX leading goalscorer race all to himself. The Argentine got his ninth goal of the season and Jonathan Rodríguez got a goal and an assist as Santos Laguna downed Atlas 3-1.

Very early on neither side could get much going, although Santos slowly began to establish some dominance when they were able to break down the field on a counter. Santos would get their first shot on goal 15 minutes on when winger Brian Lozano hit a blast that goalkeeper José Hernández punched out.

Kist minutes later, forward Julio Furch won a forward pass against Omar Gonzalez deep in Atlas territory. Furch turned and avoided a sliding tackle from behind by slotting the ball left to Jonathan Rodríguez. This drew Hernández off his line and toward Rodríguez, who calmly slotted the ball back across to Furch. The Liga MX leading goalscorer had all the time in the world and calmly tapped the ball in the net to get the home team the 1-0 lead.

Santos would keep the pressure on the visitors, keeping the Atlas forwards with their backs toward goal at one end and spreading the defense with long, sweeping passes from corner to corner at the other. Santos would also routinely create mismatches between their forwards and Atlas’ defense. Right back Ismael Govea was prone to chasing the ball, sometimes tailing a Santos attacker all the way upfield to be level with the Atlas forwards. Defensive midfielder Lorenzo Reyes often times wouldn’t drop back to assist González and Leitón Jiménez as Furch and Rodríguez bore down on them.

Mintues after the second half started, Govea would get hands to Jonathan Rodríguez’ face which resulted in a free kick from just outside the 18 yard box. Osvaldo Martínez would step up and hit a free kick that just seemed to float into the top corner.

The two goal lead wouldn’t last long. on a free kick from deep, Omar González would go up and put his head on the ball, redirecting it past Jonathan Orozco to halve the hosts’ lead.

Santos wouldn’t let that stand for long. In the 57th minute, Martínez would hit a corner kick. Rodríguez was able to get position and get a head on the ball, putting it past the waving hands of Hernández to regain a two goal lead for the hosts.

Atlas would have a good chance tin the 70th off of a free kick but Orozco would make a fantastic diving save to his left to keep the visitors from getting a second goal.

Atlas was never really able to threaten after that, and Santos would remain undefeated at home in the Apertura. Both teams are off next week due to the international break. Upon their return, Santos heads to Pachuca to face Los Tuzos on October 20, while Atlas will host Veracruz on October 19.

Club Santos: Jonathan Orozco; Jesús Angulo, Matheus Doría, Hugo Nervo, José Abella; Brian Lozano, José Juan Vázquez, Osvaldo Martínez (Carlos Orrantía, 80’), Jesús Isijara (Ayrton Preciado, 68’); Jonathan Rodríguez (Edwin Cetré, 87’), Julio Furch

Atlas FC: José Hernández; Cristian Calderón, Leitón Jiménez, Omar González, Ismael Govea; Lorenzo Reyes, Ian Torres; Ulises Cardona (Clifford Aboagye, 63’), Andrés Andrade (Ricky Álvarez, 75’), Bryan Garnica; Jefferson Duque (Alejandro Díaz, 71’)

Scoring: Santos Laguna - Julio Furch (18’), Osvaldo Martínez (47’), Jonathan Rodríguez (57’); Atlas FC - Omar González (49’)

Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Hugo Nervo (Yellow - 3’); Atlas FC - Ismael Govea (Yellow 47’), Cristian Calderón (Yellow - 86’)