Fernando Uribe had a brace thanks to two great free kicks from Rubens Sambueza, as hosts Toluca FC defeated Club Santos Laguna by a score of 2-0.
In the fifth minute Djaniny Tavares found himself in on goal thanks to a great one-two with Julio Furch, but Toluca FC goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera did well to block his shot.
In the eighth minute, Toluca would have a good opportunity when Alexis Canelo got in behind the defense and drew out Santos goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco, however his angle to shoot was too sharp. By the time his pass back to center was corralled, Orozco and center back Carlos Izquierdoz were able to get back and Izquierdoz cleared the shot before it got to Orozco.
Toluca would get on the board in the 16th minute when Rubens Sambueza hit a perfect cross in toward Fernando Uribe, who was able to go up and get his head on the ball. The redirected shot found its way past Orozco and in.
In the 23rd minute Toluca almost doubled their lead when a free kick was headed in toward goal by Carlos Borja from a tight angle. Luckily for Santos, Orozco was able to swat the ball away.
A minute later, Santos went in on goal and a Djaniny shot was blocked. The Santos players were calling for a handball, however to no avail. The replay showed the ball did hit the defender in the arm, however his back was turned toward Djaniny so a penalty would have been a bit harsh to award.
In the 29th minute, defensive miscues in the Santos midfield allowed Toluca to get another solid opportunity on goal. Uribe hit a pass toward center and Luis Quiñones got a solid hit on the ball, however Orozco saw the shot the entire way and made the save.
This would be a theme for a good portion of the first half. Toluca was really able to control the flow of the play by getting men back and pressuring in the midfield transitions. All too often, Santos players were successfully baited into making a poor pass into coverage or were dispossessed.
In the 32nd minute, a Toluca turnover resulted in Julio Furch receiving the ball in a dangerous position, however his shot was saved easily by Talavera.
In the 44th minute, Santos had a good run when Brian Lozano floated a cross into the box. Djaniny got his head onto it, but couldn’t direct it toward goal.
Toluca would keep up the pressure in the second half. In the 51st minute, the pressure would pay off when Fernando Uribe got his head on another well-placed free kick by Rubens Sambueza. Uribe’s header caught Orozco cheating the wrong way, and it put Toluca up by two.
In the 56th minute, Brian Lozano would try his luck with a shot from distance. Talavera gave up a bit of a rebound on the shot, but was able to get up and smother it before two onrushing Santos players were able to make contact with the ball.
| #UDLigaMX Brian Lozano (Santos Laguna) Disparo con la derecha desde fuera del área.@TolucaFC 2-0 @ClubSantos #MásRojoQueNunca #SinGuerrerosNoHaySantos— Univision Deportes (@UnivisionSports) February 18, 2018
Sigue el partido en vivo https://t.co/TUJa0lT2vB pic.twitter.com/k3ktp2zcS9
Santos kept looking to get a goal back, however Toluca’s midfield play smothered out most opportunities before they even started. Santos was awarded a free kick about 25 yards out in the 79th minute, Juan Delgadillo was able to kick the shot away before it made it to Talavera.
Toluca would frustrate Santos’ every attempt to build momentum and get some offense going. They were able to neutralize Djaniny and keep the pressure on, earning the three points on the day.
Toluca will head to Zacatecas to face Mineros in Copa MX play on Wednesday before continuing on to Querétaro to face Los Gallos Blancos on Saturday. Santos has no Copa MX match this week and will host Cruz Azul next Sunday in Liga MX play.
Toluca FC: Alfredo Talavera; Maximiliano Perg, Rodrigo Salinas, Osvaldo González, Carlos Borja; Leonel López (Juan Delgadillo, 59’), Antonio Rios; Luis Quiñones (Carlos Calvo, 84’), Alexis Canelo, Rubens Sambueza; Fernando Uribe (Ernesto Vega, 76’)
Santos Laguna: Jonathan Orozco; Jorge Villafaña, Néstor Araújo, Carlos Izquierdoz, José Abella; Brian Lozano (Cris Martínez, 70’), José Vázquez, Osvaldo Martínez (Javiér Cortes, 61’), Jesús Isijara (Jonathan Rodríguez, 46’); Djaniny Tavares, Julio Furch
Scoring: Toluca FC - Fernando Uribe (16’, 51’); Santos Laguna - None
Disciplinary: Toluca FC - Carlos Borja (Yellow - 8’), Leonel López (Yellow - 13’), Luis Quiñones (Yellow - 19’), Alfredo Talavera (Yellow - 20’); Santos Laguna - Brian Lozano (Yellow - 37’), Néstor Araújo (Yellow - 50’), Djaniny Tavares (Yellow - 89’), Cris Martínez (Red, 90+2’)