Game: Club de Fútbol Rojinegros S.A. de C.V. vs. Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.
Date: Friday, March 29th
Time: 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 10:00 p.m. Central, 8:00 p.m. Pacific, 3:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Jalisco (Guadalajara, Jal.)
Referees: REF: Fernando Hernandez Gomez, AR1: Jimmy Acosta Montesinos, AR2: Jorge Gerardo Dávila Cervantes, 4TH: Jesus Roberto Ruiz Gonzalez
The last time we saw Santos Laguna (4W 3D 4L), they had lost their first league game at home since April 22, 2018 when Necaxa (5W 3D 3L)’s Rodrigo Contreras scored the game winning goal deep in stoppage time. Center back Matheus Doría was out with an injury picked up in the Concacaf Champions League game against the New York Red Bulls a couple weeks prior, and goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco missed a stint with the Mexican National Team due to an injury picked up in training the week before.
The week off allowed the sting of the loss to abate, while Doría and Orozco are now healthy and expected to feature in the lineup. Only Ayrton Preciado is expected to be out injured, and Santos will look to get back on track against an Atlas (3W 1D 7L) team that has lost their last six in Liga MX play.
Since the skid began, Atlas has dropped from ninth place to 15th and was outscored 13-2. This poor play cost Ángel Guillermo Hoyos his job as manager, replaced by Leandro Cufré on March 11. Cufré will need to be able to get much improved performances from his squad from top to bottom. Facundo Barceló’s goals in Week 4 and Week 5 are the only two goals scored by a forward this season, and he and Jefferson Duque simply must produce more if Atlas is going to be competitive. The defense is also culpable, allowing 20 goals so far and putting them only three up on last place Querétaro.
Both teams should look at the match as an opportunity to get back on track. Even Atlas has a shot at the Liguilla (albeit a fairly slim one seven points back with six games left to go), and Santos can get back in with a win and a couple of favorable results.