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Match recap: Pumas UNAM 1, Santos Laguna 1

Two of the top teams in the league played to a 1-1 draw under the noon sun in CU.

Pumas UNAM v Santos Laguna - Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

Both clubs sprung slight surprises in their lineups, with the hosts opting for canteñera Diego Rosales at right back over Alan Mozo and the visitors giving minutes to Gerardo Arteaga, Carlos Orrantia, and Ayrton Preciado over Jesús Angulo, José Abella, and Jesús Isijara at left back, right back, and right wing respectively.

The hosts would have the better of the run of play initially, although it was Santos who had calls for handballs early on. Shots by Jonathan Rodríguez and Julio Furch ignited the “ball-to-hand or hand-to-ball” debates anew among commentators and spectators alike, however referee Jorge Pérez declined to weigh in with his whistle.

The momentum would shift however, and it would be Rodríguez’ ninth goal of the season that would break the deadlock. In the 25th minute, “Cabecito” played a fantastic give-and-go with Furch, eluding his defender and getting a clean shot at goal that Alfredo Saldívar could not stop.

Pumas would almost draw one back in the 20th when Diego Rosales went in alone on goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco, however the goalkeeper kept his nerve and absorbed the shot with his torso, preserving the lead for the visitors. Orozco would get a little luck when a long distance shot from Alan Mendoza thundered off of the crossbar but would then make a fantastic save on the follow up shot by Felipe Mora.

The momentum would switch back to the hosts however, and in the 55th, a fantastic cross from Juan Iturbe would find its way to Pablo Barrero. Barrero would hit a rocket that whistled just on the outside of the far post. Minutes later, Carlos Orrantia would find himself in all alone on goal after a restart but under no pressure his shot from just outside the six yard box was well over the crossbar and into the seats of Estadio Olímpico Universitario.

In the 62nd minute, disaster would strike for Santos, as Matheus Doría would hit a header back to Jonathan Orozco. Orozco had unfortunately come off his line to attempt to grab the ball, and the ball lazily bounced into the open net.

This would wake up the visitors, who would get several more good looks at goal. Rodríguez would almost get his second near the 80th minute when he unleashed a close range shot but Saldívar stood his ground and pushed the shot wide of the net.

Javiér Cortes would look to hyperextend his right knee when attempting to clear a ball close to the 90 minute mark. He would be taken off the field on a golf cart and would not return, leaving Santos to play the remainder of the match down a man. The clubs would play out the remainder of the match without much of a fuss, and it would end in a 1-1 draw.

Pumas UNAM: Alfredo Saldívar; Alan Mendoza (Juan Iturbe, 46’), Luis Quintana, Alejandro Arribas, Diego Rosales; Martín Rodríguez, Ignacio Malcorra, Andres Iniestra, Pablo Barrera (David Cabrera, 75’); Carlos González, Felipe Mora (Matías Alustiza, 81’)

Santos Laguna: Jonathan Orozco; Gerardo Arteaga, Matheus Doría, Hugo Nervo, Carlos Orrantia; Brian Lozano (David Cabrera,75’), José Juan Vázquez, Osvaldo Martínez, Ayrton Preciado (Javiér Cortes, 74’); Jonathan Rodríguez, Julio Furch (Edwin Cetré, 81)

Scoring: Pumas UNAM - Matheus Doría (63’ - Autogol); Club Santos - Jonathan Rodríguez (25’)

Disciplinary: Pumas UNAM - None; Club Santos - Edwin Cetré (Yellow - 84’)