Santos hadn’t lost at home in 11 months before losing to Necaxa in their last match at Estadio Corona TSM. They would not make it two losses in a row, drawing Pachuca 0-0 while playing down a man for over half of the match.
The match would start rather slowly, with both sides looking unsure about what to expect. Santos got the first chance on net in the ninth minute when Jesús Angulo took a run down the left flank. He’s play a ball in - a pass or a cross depending on who you ask - but it wouldn’t find either a teammate or the goalkeeper and would sail wide of the net and out of bounds. In the 13th minute, Santos would win a free kick from about 25 yards out. The resulting kick in would rattle around in the box, with several Santos players taking shots that were blocked by Tuzos defenders. Marlos Moreno would get the final touch of the sequence, with his shot going out well wide of the net.
In the 18th minute Santos would hit Pachuca on the counter. Moreno would hit Javier Correa in stride just outside of the 18 yard box, but Correa’s shot would go just over the bar.
Santos would remain on the front foot, getting several looks inside the Tuzos box. The shots and actual chances were few and far between however, with Pachuca’s defense bending but not breaking. In the 40th minute, Jesús Angulo would pick up his second yellow card of the afternoon when he went up for a challenge and catch Victor Guzmán in the face with his hand. The referee would decline to review the play using VAR, and Angulo’s afternoon was done early.
Santos would not be deterred however, as in the 44th they’d counter and Correa would get a shot off that forced goalkeeper Alfonso Blanco to make a save. In the 52nd minute, Marlos Moreno would make a fantastic run into the box, getting past four Pachuca defenders in the process, but his shot would go wide of the net. On the next sequence, Franco Jara would drive down the field and get a shot off for Pachuca, however it was well saved by goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco to keep the scores level at zero.
In the 54th, Ayrton Preciado would get on the end of a cross from José Abella, but his header would go wide of the net. In the 59th minute, Jara would hit a shot at the other end that would hit off of the outside of the post. In the 62nd, Víctor “Pocho” Guzmán would be on the receiving end of a cross from Sagal, but his shot was stopped cold by Gerardo Arteaga.
As the game wore on, neither side would threaten much. Brian Lozano would rip a shot just wide of the net in the 83rd minute. At the other end on the next sequence, Ángelo Sagal would pop a chip over Jona Orozco when the goalkeeper came off of his line. Sagal’s shot would be seen just wide of the net however by Hugo Nervo, who had tracked back and would have easily cleared the ball had it been on frame. Sagal would get another shot in the 89th that missed the far post by inches.
Santos will host Tigres UANL in the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League Semifinal on Wednesday before heading to Monterrey to face Rayados on Sunday. Pachuca will head home where they’ll host Veracruz on Saturday.
Santos Laguna: Jonathan Orozco; Jesús Angulo, Hugo Nerco, Matheus Doría, José Abella; José Juan Vázquez, Diego Valdés; Deinner Quiñones (Gerardo Arteaga, 45’), Ayrton Preciado (Carlos Orrantía, 75’), Marlos Moreno (Brian Lozano, 64’); Javier Correa
Pachuca: Alfonso Blanco; Emmanuel García, Oscar Murillo, Stiven Barreiro, Raúl López; Víctor Guzmán, Jorge Hernández; Ismael Sosa (Raúl Castillo, 75’), Edwin Cardona (Leonardo Ulloa, 57’), Pablo López (Ángelo Sagal, 57’), ; Franco Jara
Scoring: Santos Laguna - None; Pachuca - None
Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Jesús Angulo (Yellow - 33’, Yellow - 40’), Ayrton Preciado (Yellow - 38’); Pachuca - Emmanuel García (Yellow - 69’), Jorge Hernández (Yellow - 82’)