Santos Laguna continues to dominate in the desert and Toluca continues to free-fall as Los Guerreros defeat the visitors 4-0 Sunday evening..
The teams wasted no time in taking the game to one another. At the one minute mark, Julio Furch was played through on a great ball but his shot went right at Alfredo Talavera. Tala would hang on and on the counter, Emmanuel Gigliotti would be played in but Matheus Doría would make a fantastic tackle in the box, avoiding the ire of referee Luis Santander.
In the third minute, José Juan “Gallito” Vázquez would make a run and be brought down less than a yard from the eighteen yard box. Diego Valdés would step up and hit a beautiful free kick that beat Tala to the inside of the post to give Santos the early 1-0 lead.
Santos kept pressuring, and in the 15th minute almost got one when Valdés played a brilliant through ball to Brian Lozano. Lozano made a run down the right side but his cross was well defended by Adrián Mora to prevent the connection with an onrushing Javiér Correa. In the 22nd minute, Ayrton Preciado would play a great give and go with Julio Furch and go in on goal. His shot was low and hard and deflected off of Talavera’s arm and into the back of the net to give the hosts the early two goal lead.
In the 30th minute, Santiago García went in high and hard on . Luis Santander went to VAR and determined it was a straight red card.
Things would go from bad to worse in the 36th minute when Julio Furch was played in past Mora in the box. Mora was judged to have committed a foul on the Santos forward, and Santander pointed to the spot and showed Mora a yellow card. Javiér Correa would take the penalty and rifle it into the top of the net.
Santos almost got another immediately after when Tala made a stop on a shot in the box from Correa. The rebound went to Furch, who looked to be surprised the have the ball at his feet and skied his shot into the stands. Santos cruised into the half up three goals and a man.
In the second half, Santos would continue to exploit the man advantage. In the 62nd minute, Diego Valdés was able to take advantage when Rodrigo Salinas attempted a poor header back to the goalkeeper. Valdés was able to poke the ball past an onrushing Talavera and then tap the ball into the net.
In the 75th minute Tala made a fantastic save on a free kick. The rebound went to José Abella, whose touch put the ball just wide of the far post. Both teams would keep things lively, but ultimately Santos’ lead was too much to overcome and they would once again dominate an opponent at home.
Santos will host CD Marathón in Concacaf Champions League Play on Wednesday before heading to León to take on the red-hot Fiera on Saturday. Toluca will also be in CCL play, hosting Sporting Kansas City on Thursday before hosting Veracruz on Sunday in Liga MX play.
Club Santos: Jonathan Orozco; Gerardo Arteaga, Matheus Doría, Martín Nervo, José Abella; Ayrton Preciado (Marlos Moreno, 68’), José Juan Vázquez, Diego Valdés (Ulíses Rivas, 77’), Brian Lozano; Julio Furch (Deinner Quiñones, 60’), Javiér Correa
Toluca: Alfredo Talavera, Santiago García, Adrián Mora, Jonatan Maidana, Rodrigo Salinas; Carlos Esquível (Diego Abella, 46’), Federico Mancuello (Osvaldo González, 46’), Iván Acero, Luis Mendoza; Pablo Barrientos, Emmanuel Gigliotti (Alan Medina, 70’)
Scoring: Santos Laguna - Diego Valdés (5’, 62’), Ayrton Preciado (22’), Javiér Correa (penal - 37’); Toluca - None
Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - None; Toluca - Federico Mancuello (Yellow - 9’), Santiago García (Red - 32’), Adrián Mora (Yellow - 36’)