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Match recap: Club Necaxa 0, Santos Laguna 1

A standout performance from Carlos Acevedo and a goal from Julio Furch sees Santos down Necaxa 1-0.

Chivas v Santos Laguna - Torneo Clausura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images

Santos Laguna’s quest to repeat as Liga MX champions got a boost as Los Guerreros downed Necaxa 1-0 in Aguascalientes.

In the 15th minute, Necaxa would get a couple of decent chances in quick succession. Carlos “Gullit” Peña fired a shot from distance that Santos goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo would punch away, but only as far as Rayos midfielder Brian Fernández. Fernández would dribble a couple of steps and fire on goal, but Acevedo parried away safely.

In the 18th, Necaxa’s Dieter Villalpando would hit a shot that would take a deflection, forcing Acevedo to make an acrobatic, diving save on.

In the 23rd, Jesús Isijara would win the ball and streak down the Santos right wing. Before running out of real estate at the end line, Isijara hit a cross to the far side of the box, and Julio Furch went up and headed it on frame and in. Furch’s eighth goal of the season tied him with André-Pierre Gignac for the league lead.

Santos was largely able to dictate the flow of play, utilizing short passes and a high tempo to keep the hosts from ever gaining too much in possession. Necaxa looked like they were out of ideas for a good portion of the match, even pulling a double switch at half time to try and get something going.

It would prove an impossible task.

The rare times Necaxa was able to get possession and get into Santos’ zone, the defense would stand strong. Acevedo stole the show however, making seven saves and keeping the clean sheet to preserve the win.

Necaxa will head to Veracruz, where they’ll play Tiburones Rojos on Friday in the late game. The early Friday game will be Santos hosting Atlas. Both matches are in Liga MX play.

Club Necaxa: Hugo González; Manuel Mayorga, Ventura Alvarado, Luis Hernández, Brayan Beckeles; Fernando González, Matías Fernández; Carlos Peña, Dieter Villalpando (Marcelo Allende, 46’), Brian Fernández (Sebastián Cordóva, 74’), Martín Barragán (Víctor Dávila, 46’)

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Jesús Angulo, Matheus Doría, Hugo Nervo, José Abella; Brian Lozano (Gerardo Arteaga, 83’), Osvaldo Martínez (Carlos Orrantía, 70’), José Juan Vázquez. Jesús Isijara (Ulises Rivas, 76’); Jonathan Rodríguez, Julio Furch

Scoring: Club Necaxa - None; Santos Laguna - Julio Furch (23’)

Disciplinary: Club Necaxa - Brian Fernández (Yellow - 48’), Carlos Peña (Yellow - 63’); Santos Laguna - José Juan Vázquez (Yellow - 79’)