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Match recap: Santos Laguna 1, Cruz Azul 1

This match was as advertised - a back-and-forth affair between two of the best teams in Liga MX.

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

Santos and Cruz Azul came in looking to solidify their claim as best team in Liga MX. Both teams did just that, however the result would be an impartial 1-1 draw.

The game stared out with both sides playing completely without fear of the other. It was a combination of chess match and prize fight, with Santos driving down often and Cruz Azul turning it into a counterattack just as often. Try as they might however, neither side was fully able to crack the other in the first half.

Shortly after the break, a mis-timed jump by Igor Lichnovsky left Jonathan Rodríguez in on goal but the Uruguayan’s shot rolled just on the outside of José de Jesús “Chuy” Corona’s goal.

Chuy would come up huge in the 67th making a kick save that would make Martin Brodeur proud of on a Ayrton Preciado shot from about ten yards out.

In the 76th minute, Cruz Azul would finally break through when they sprung a counterattack from close to their own 18 yard box. Milton Caraglio would hit Martín Cauteruccio on a cross. Caute would hesitate, losing José Abella, cut in, and calmly slot the ball between Jonathan Orozco’s legs.

Santos would not let that lead stand for long. Jonathan Rodríguez would win a ball down the right hand side, bring it into the 18 yard box, and hit Deinner Quiñones in stride on the left. Chuy never stood a chance, and Quiñones didn’t miss his shot.

Both teams would keep pressing for the game winner, but both were unable to break through for a second goal. Cruz Azul remains undefeated, Santos still has one loss all calendar year at home, and both teams can still lay claim to being one of the best in Liga MX.

Santos hosts Pachuca on Wednesday in Copa MX play before heading to Toluca to play Diablos Rojos on Sunday. Cruz Azul will head to Guadalajara to face Atlas in Copa MX play on Wednesday before hosting Veracruz on Saturday.

Santos Laguna: Jonathan Orozco; Jesús Angulo, Hugo Nervo, Matheus Doría, José Abella; Brian Lozano, Osvaldo Martínez, José Juan Vázquez, Jesús Isijara (Deinner Quiñones, 75’); Jonathan Rodríguez, Eduardo Herrera (Aytron Preciado, 61’)

Cruz Azul: José de Jesús Corona; Adrián Aldrete, Julio César Domínguez, Igor Lichnovsky, Pablo Aguilar; Roberto Alvarado, Iván Marcone, Rafael Baca, Elías Hernández (Édgar Méndez, 46’); Angel Mena (Martín Cauteruccio, 55’), Milton Caraglio (Javiér Salas, 80’)

Scoring: Santos Laguna - None; Cruz Azul - None

Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Jesús Angulo (Yellow - 40’); Cruz Azul - Pablo Aguilar (Yellow - 63’), José de Jesús Corona (Yellow - 90+4’)