Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Impulsora del Deportivo Necaxa S.A. de C.V.
Date: Sunday, March 17th
Time: 8:06 p.m. Eastern, 7:06 p.m. Central, 5:06 p.m. Pacific, 12:06 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Referees: REF: Fernando Guerrero Ramírez, AR1: Enríque Isaac Bustos Díaz, AR2: Miguel Angel Chua Ortiz, 4TH: Brian Omar Gonzalez Veles
It’s been quite a week for Santos Laguna (4W 3D 3L), who will host Necaxa (4W 3D 3L) on the final match of Week 11. They scored four goals in the span of ten minutes on Tuesday to beat the New York Red Bulls 6-2 on aggregate in the Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinal. They also announced yesterday that captain José Abella had re-signed with the club through 2021.
It isn’t all good news in Torreón though as goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco was replaced on the Mexico roster for their upcoming friendlies against Chile and Paraguay due to an injury to his right adductor muscle. Orozco has been a key part of Santos’ success, however Carlos Acevedo has been a capable understudy and has proven he can hold his own in Liga MX play.
Necaxa comes in rather well-rested, not having played a mid-week match since February 19. And while Necaxa has won only one of their last eight across all competitions, it was a convincing 3-1 win over a good Club América side. Still, any team that gives up 18 goals in an eight game stretch has the possibility to be exploited - especially by a team like Santos that has such an offensive arsenal at their disposal. Necaxa has conceded 16 goals in just Liga MX, which is only three less than Querétaro for worst in the league.
As poor as Necaxa’s defense has been, their offense has been pretty good. The 20 total goals in Liga MX play lag behind only León and Monterrey (23 each). Brian Fernández has nine of those, tying him with Ángel Mena for tops in the league. The next closest goalscorer is Cristian Calderón with just three goals, so finding a way to stymie Fernández will greatly increase the likelihood of the hosts getting another positive result.