Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Club de Fútbol Pachuca
Date: Sunday, April 7th
Time: 7:00 p.m. Eastern, 6:00 p.m. Central, 4:00 p.m. Pacific, 11:00 p.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Referees: REF: Oscar Mejia Garcia, AR1: José Alfredo López Cruz, AR2: Karen Janett Díaz Medina, 4TH: Edgar Allan Morales Olvera
Results change perceptions. At the beginning of last season, Santos Laguna let go manager Robert Dante Siboldi and brought in Salvador Reyes. It would have been easy to see Reyes and Santos finishing in the bottom part of the table - after all, Reyes inherited a team that was looking to move past a physical altercation between its former manager and a player as well as one that had seen some of its best players shipped off in the prior offseason. Reyes and Santos would defy expectations however and make the Liguilla, bowing out in the first round to Monterrey.
The expectations had changed going into this season. Reyes and the team were expected to return to the Liguilla and perhaps build on the success in the Apertura. Not making the Liguilla would be a regression, and with Santos sitting in 10th place in the table and suffering a 3-0 defeat to Tigres on Wednesday, Reyes was shown the door.
While no announcement regarding a manager - interim or otherwise - has been made as of yet, there’s business to be done and Santos will get on with it as they host Pachuca this Sunday in the final match of Week 13. Santos has the pieces to be competitive and make the Liguilla and they’re only four points out of a spot. The new manager will need to find a way to get forwards Julio Furch and Javier Correa scoring again. Each has four goals on the season, and the club’s 14 goals scored have them eighth overall but are exactly half of that of León.
Pachuca has been quietly good, sitting in sixth place heading into Week 13. Edwin Cardona has been having a good season for Tuzos, as the left winger has four goals and three assists so far in the Clausura. Chilean forward Franco Jara is also having a good season, scoring five goals and delivering two assists.
Pachuca however has not won on the road this season, drawing twice and losing four away from home (where they’ve won all six they’ve played this season). And while Santos lost two weeks ago at home, it was the first time in eleven months that they didn’t get a point at Estadio Corona TSM. The expectations have changed though, and it will be up to the teams to determine which will be able to meet the expectations that have been set before them.