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Match recap: Santos Laguna 1, Monarcas Morelia 0

2019 starts off much like 2018 as Santos Laguna gets a home win, downing Monarcas Morelia.

Santos Laguna v Morelia - Torneo Clausura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

A much improved showing from Santos Laguna saw them defeat Monarcas Morelia 1-0 in Torreón. Julio Furch’s goal in the 60th minute pushed Santos to a record of 1W 0D 1L while Morelia sank to 0W 0D 2L.

Santos was able to control possession and dictate the flow of the match for a good portion of the early minutes, keeping the ball in the Monarcas end. Morelia was able to withstand the pressure however, giving up only one shot in the first fifteen minutes.

Monarcas had a good chance in the 23rd minute when a sloppy back pass lead to Rodrigo Millar getting into a footrace with Matheus Doría for the errant ball. Millar was first to the ball and played it square to Miguel Sansores in front of goal, but his shot was blocked and cleared out by Hugo Nervo.

A bit of controversy in the 28th minute when Miguel Sansores came up injured after a challenge. Referee Adonai González went to the VAR booth and determined that Jesús Angulo came in a bit too hard and was deserving of a yellow card.

In stoppage time in the first half, Santos had a fantastic chance to score when Marcelo Correa got free run onto a corner kick, but his header bounced just wide of Sebastián Sosa’s net.

In the 60th minute, Santos would finally break through when on a restart after a substitution, José Juan “Gallito” Vázquez sent a through ball right to an unmarked Julio Furch. Furch turned, took a touch, and fired hard at goal, beating Sosa to the goalkeeper’s left.

In the 70th minute, Preciado made a run and shot hard at Sosa who made a sliding clearance. The ball went only as far as Brian Lozano, who shot it into defender Emanuel Loeschbor. Minutes later, Preciado would get free again and shoot, only to be stonewalled again by Sosa.

Santos kept applying pressure on Monarcas throughout the remainder of the second half, not allowing the visitors to generate much in the way of chances. This stood in contrast to their match last week against Lobos BUAP, when the side lacked urgency in the second half and ultimately lost the match. They played hard up until the final whistle and secured their first victory of 2019 in front of their home fans.

Santos heads to Puebla to face Tuzos in the late game on Friday in Liga MX play, while Monarcas will host Veracruz in the early game on Friday.

Santos Laguna: Jonathan Orozco; Jesús Angulo (Gerardo Arteaga, 46’), Matheus Doría, Hugo Nervo, José Abella; Marcelo Correa, José Juan Vázquez, Diego Valdés, Brayan Garnica (Brian Lozano, 60’); Ayrton Preciado (Carlos Orrantía, 77’), Julio Furch

Monarcas Morelia: Sebastián Sosa; Sebastián Vegas, Gabriel Achilier, Emanuel Loeschbor, Alberto Acosta; Edison Flores, Rodrigo Millar (Sebastián Ferreira, 70’), Aldo Rocha, Ray Sandoval (Gastón Lezcano, 77’); Carlos Fierro (Rodolfo Vilchis, 56’), Miguel Sansores

Scoring: Santos Laguna - Juilo Furch (60’), Monarcas Morelia - None

Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Jesús Angulo (Yellow - 28’). Marcelo Correa (Yellow - 37’), Diego Valdés (Yellow - 37’), Monarcas Morelia - Rodrigo Millar (Yellow - 39’), Gabriel Achilier (Yellow - 90+4’)