A fantastic battle between a team with the league’s leading scorer and the league’s best defense sees the sides leave with a point each as Santos Laguna and Club Tijuana draw 0-0 at TSM Estadio Corona. It wasn’t without controversy though, as Santos looked to have a goal just before half that was not awarded.
Santos dominated much of the first half, both in terms of possession and in terms of chances. The first good chance for Santos came in the 16th minute when Jesús Isijara hit a rocket that Xolos goalkeeper Gibran Lajud made a fantastic save on.
Xolos spent most of the first half making runs down the wings while eschewing central play. Gustavo “Pantera” Bou was dropped much deeper than normal with Juan Lucero most often granted the freedom to roam forward. It was Bou with the better looks though, as he and Víctor “Nacho” Malcorra had shots that went wide of Santos goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco.
It was a much different story though for Santos. Djaniny Tavares often times drew two to three defenders at a time and he still managed to make things happen.
There was a huge controversy in the 40th minute, when a Santos shot was tipped off of the woodwork by Lajud. The ball fell to the ground and was smothered by Lajud, although it looked like the ball had crossed the line. Play was never stopped though and no goal was awarded.
As soon as referee Jorge Rojas whistled the half had ended, he was surrounded by Santos players asking for an explanation.
In the second half, things opened up a bit offensively. Xolos looked a little more confident in getting numbers forward and creating a few chances.
Near the 60th minute, Santos hit a couple of long distance shots that seemed to catch Lajud a bit off guard. Luckily for Xolos, the shots both went wide of the net.
Ahhhh this would have been such a sweet goal by Osvaldo Martinez. pic.twitter.com/8OUPKYpYZC— ClubSantosLaguna (@ClubSantosEn) February 4, 2018
Xolos defense would remain resolute though. Djaniny was defended about as well as could be expected, and Tijuana was careful to keep men behind the ball. Xolos finished the match with nine blocked shots and managed to keep their shutout streak alive against one of the hottest offensive teams in Liga MX.
Santos will head to Toluca to face the Diablos Rojos on Wednesday in Copa MX action before going to Guadalajara to face Chivas next Saturday. Xolos head back to Baja California where they’ll host Querétaro on Friday night
Santos Laguna: Jonathan Orozco; Jorge Villafaña, Carlos Izquierdoz, Nestor Araujo, José Abella; Osvaldo Martínez, José Juan Vázquez, Jesús Isijara (Brian Lozano, 58’); Jonathan Rodríguez (Cris Martínez, 72’), Julio Furch, Djaniny Tavares
Club Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Damián Pérez, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Pablo Aguilar, Omar Mendoza; Damián Musto; Víctor Malcorra (Mateus Gonçalves, 80’), Luis Chávez (Miller Bolaños, 65’), José Rivero; Juan Lucero, Gustavo Bou (Alejandro Guido, 84’)
Scoring: Santos Laguna - None; Club Tijuana - None
Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Djaniny Tavares (Yellow - 35’); Club Tijuana - Omar Mendoza (Yellow - 33’), Juan Carlos Valenzuela (Yellow - 88’)