Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Club Deportivo Tiburones Rojos de la Veracruz
Date: Sunday, September 23rd
Time: 7:00 p.m. Eastern, 6:00 p.m. Central, 4:00 p.m. Pacific, 11:00 p.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Referees: REF: Eduardo Galvan Basulto, AR1: Andres Hernández Delgado, AR2: Cesar Cerritos García, 4TH: Adonai Escobedo Gonzalez
It’s not often you have a home stand in Liga MX. Club Santos (5W 2D 2L) has such an opportunity, hosting Veracruz (2W 1D 6L) a week after downing León (3W 1D 5L) at Estadio Corona TSM. Santos will look to solidify their claim on a Liguilla spot and perhaps move up the ladder should any of the teams above them falter this weekend. Veracruz on the other hand, desperately needs points to avoid relegation - or at least buying their way out of the Ascenso MX.
Even though they’re the reigning Liga MX champions, Santos has flown under the radar a bit. With most of the attention on the exploits of the Mexico City clubs who occupy three of the top four spots in Liga MX, Santos has gone about their business and sit just four points behind Cruz Azul (6W 2D 1L). Julio Furch and Jonathan Rodríguez sit first and third in Liga MX with seven and five goals scored, respectively. Furch has also contributed three assists, which is tied for the league lead.
Veracruz on the other hand has been, to put it mildly, rather disappointing.. Their lone wins have come against Puebla (4W 1D 5L) and Tijuana (3W 3D 3L), which were the only two games so far this season that Veracruz were able to hold their opponents to one goal or less. Veracruz is a staggering -13 on goal differential, having allowed twenty goals in their nine games.
Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese has been shelled this year, thanks in part to the motley crew of defenders in front of him. Enrique Pérez and Osmar Mares are injured and it’s uncertain if they’ll be available to line up against Santos. Luis Caicedo will not be available, having picked up two yellow cards in last week’s 3-2 loss to Toluca (5W 1D 3L), the second of which was a foul in the box that allowed Rubens Sambueza to win the game on a penalty kick in the 87th minute.
Santos would however be wise not to take Veracruz lightly. Yes, everything is pointing to an easy win for Santos. But they are a team that is fighting to avoid the drop to the Ascenso MX and will come out with their best.