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Match recap: Club América 1, Santos Laguna 2

Santos retains the superlíder for another week as they come from behind to beat América at Estadio Azteca.

America v Santos Laguna - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

This match lived up to its billing as a must watch game. América held a lead for most of the match but a quick double from visiting Santos Laguna saw Los Laguneros get all three points on the evening and ensure that they’ll remain atop the Liga MX table for at least one more week.

Santos was missing two key players, with goalkeeper and captain Jonathan Orozco out “ due to a muscular overload in his right adductor muscle,” and midfielder Ulíses Rívas was out with “an aggravation in his right calf.“

Just one minute in Santos would be tested when Andres Ibargüen got to a rebound at the top of the box, but his shot went just wide of the net. A minute later at the other end of the pitch, Fernando Gorriarán took a shot from about 20 yards out but Memo Ochoa was there to parry the shot wide. In the ninth minute, Roger Martínez had a shot that wound up going just over the bar. Martínez had another shot in the 15th minute but it was straight at goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo, who easily stopped the shot.

América largely dictated play early on, and Santos was able to withstand the pressure. When they were able to get possession, Santos was not afraid to shoot from distance, perhaps taking a lesson from Matheus Dória’s game winner against Querétaro last time out.

In the 27th Santos would have a decent opportunity when Paul Aguilar picked up a yellow card close to goal. Brian Lozano’s free kick was on target but Ochoa was able to push it aside. Lozano would be played through in the 38th minute but his shot was perhaps a bit rushed.

In the 39th, América would break down field, Renato Ibarra hit a shot at Acevedo that he turned wide. The rebound was picked up by Roger Martínez and played to an onrushing Andrés Ibargüen, who blasted a shot into the back of the net.

After the half the play became a little physical, with players flying all over the place. Julio Furch had a good run into the area in the 49th minute but his resulting shot was blocked. Brian Lozano had a shot from distance in the 51st that went just wide of the mark.

In the 60th minute América looked to have a great chance when Ibargüen found Henry Martín wide open in the middle of the box, but he scuffed his shot and it went straight up into the air and was easily cleared out. América would regret this.

In the 66th minute, Eryc “La Culebra” Castillo hit a great ball into the box that Diego Valdés got his head to, freezing Memo Ochoa to give Santos the equalizer.

Just two minutes later, Culebra would get hauled down in the box by Antonio López. Brian Lozano would step up to the spot and nail the penalty to give Santos the lead.

América tried feverishly to get the equalizer but just couldn’t get it to go. Acevedo made a couple of solid saves as time waned and deep into stoppage time Bruno Valdez had a header that had Acevedo beaten but it wen just on the outside of the bar.

As the match was winding down, managers Guillermo Almada and Miguel Herrera got into a verbal altercation along the sideline. Both were shown red cards, and although both have rather fiery tempers it de-escalated quickly, with the men walking off of the pitch griping at one another, each stopping long enough to give the officials along the way an earful.

América will host Veracruz in Las Águilas’ final match of the season on Friday, while Santos will host Chivas on Wednesday in Copa MX play before welcoming Cruz Azul to La Laguna Comarca on Sunday in Liga MX play.

Club América: Guillermo Ochoa; Antonio López, Emanuel Aguilera, Bruno Valdez, Paul Aguilar; Andrés Ibargüen (Nicolás Castillo, 72’), Francisco Córdova (Giovani Dos Santos, 80’), Guido Rodríguez, Renato Ibarra; Roger Martínez, Henry Martín

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Gerardo Arteaga, Matheus Dória, Hugo Rodríguez, Emilio Orrantía; Brian Lozano, Diego Valdés (Adrián Lozano, 76’), Fernando Gorriarán, Edgar Games; Eryc Castillo, Julio Furch (Octavio Rivero, 68’)

Scoring: Club América - Andrés Ibargüen (39’); Santos Laguna - Diego Valdés (66’), Brian Lozano (68’ - penalty)

Disciplinary: Club América - Paul Aguilar (Yellow - 27’), Bruno Valdez (Yellow - 75’), Guido Rodríguez (Yellow - 76’), Miguel Herrera (Red - 90+3’); Santos Laguna - Matheus Dória (Yellow - 52’), Edgar Games (Yellow - 80’), Guillermo Almada (Red - 90+3’)