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Match recap: Necaxa 3, Santos Laguna 0

Los Rayos hand Los Guerreros their first loss of the season.

Necaxa v Santos Laguna - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Oscar Meza/Jam Media/Getty Images

All good things must come to an end, and Santos Laguna’s perfect run was no excetption to that rule as Los Guerreros fell to Necaxa 3-0. A brace from Maximiliano Salas and a stoppage time goal from Mauro Quiroga gave Necaxa their second win of the Apertura.

Santos immediately went in pressuring, forcing Hugo González to make a save before the clock even hit ten seconds. In the 11th minute, Brian Lozano would hit a thundering free kick from about 25 yards out that clattered off of the crossbar. A minute later, Eryc “La Culebra” Castillo would hit a shot from distance that González stopped.

In the 17th minute, Necaxa’s Jesús Angulo sent a cross that just missed a wide open Mauro Quiroga. Necaxa would start to create some pressure of their own, but Santos did well to defend and mitigate any opportunities.

Santos looked to have scored in the 31st minute when Brian Lozano broke free and beat González, but a VAR review found there was a foul on the play and the goal was disallowed. Lozano would hit the crossbar again on a free kick in the 41st minute.

Shortly after the start of the second half, La Culebra Castillo would find an onrushing Adrián Lozano wide open, but he rushed his shot and it went over the bar and into the stands. Necaxa had adjusted their play at the half to anticipate the high press, and it paid off. In the 53rd minute, Maximilano Salas was played in and hit a rocket that went past Santos goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco to put the hosts up 1-0.

Immediately on the restart, Brian Lozano would burst downfield and hit a laser that González was forced to save. Santos looked like they would level it but a defensive lapse in the 64th minute allowed Salas to get free in the box and he hit a shot that a sliding José Abella couldn’t kick out of the net.

In the 75th minute, Octavio Rivero would have an opportunity at goal but his shot went well high of the net. In the 84th, Santos looked to have scored yet again but the goal was waved off when it was ruled that a foul was committed in the box. Necaxa would add one more for good measure in added time when Mauro Quiroga got a free header past Jona Orozco.

After the game, Orozco was confident that this was a minor setback and that the club had performed well. “The team generated chances, they had oportunities, we just didn’t complete them,” he said in post-game interviews.

“José (Javier Abella) plays outside and he played a great game as a central defender, and Félix (Torres) is adapting to Mexican soccer and obviously he needs to become more accustomed to these types of rivals and their strengths and weaknesses,” he also said.

”We have players who are doing things well, and today, unfortunately wasn’t our afternoon but we have a game this Friday to look forward to on our field, in our house and with our people against Rayados to change things.”

Necaxa will head to Guadalajara to face Chivas next Sunday while Santos will return home to host Monterrey on Friday night.

Necaxa: Hugo González; Jairo González, Ventura Alvarado, Alexis Peña (Rodrigo Noya, 24’), Ricardo Chávez; Jesús Angulo, Luis Gallegos (José Placencia, 76’), Claudio Baeza, Juan Delgado; Mauro Quiroga, Maximiliano Salas (Kevin Mercado, 80’)

Santos Laguna: Jonathan Orozco; Gerardo Arteaga, José Abella, Félix Torres, Emilio Orrantía (Octavio Rivero, 75’); Eryc Castillo, Fernando Gorriarán, Ulíses Rivas, Brian Lozano; Julio Furch, Adrián Lozano (Diego Valdés, 59’)

Scoring: Necaxa - Maximiliano Salas (53’, 64’), Mauro Quiroga (90+1’); Santos Laguna - None

Disciplinary: Necaxa - Jesús Angulo (Yellow - 10’), Claudio Baeza (Yellow - 27;’) ; Santos Laguna - Gerardo Arteaga (Yellow - 64’), Guillermo Almada (Yellow - 75’)