Santos Laguna and Atlas had both won both of their previous games entering the match, but Santos’ relentless pressing and a standout performance from Brian Lozano would ensure Los Guerreros would be the team that left the match with all three points.
It took a while for both teams to warm up, as often possession was lost before any serious threat was established. The first corner didn’t come until the tenth minute of the game. Play was pretty innocuous until the 17th minute when Brian Lozano came up with the ball off of a throw in and rifled a shot past Atlas goalkeeper Camilo Vargas.
In the 22nd minute, Adrián Lozano would beak through the defense on a great pass from Julio Furch, but his shot rolled just wide of the net. A minute later at the other end, Andrés “Rifle” Andrade was played in but his shot went into the side netting. In the 38th, Brian Lozano almost had his second of the evening but for a fantastic diving save by Vargas. Just before the half, Atlas was able to create some pressure, but goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco came up huge for Santos making three fantastic saves to keep his team on top.
Santos would keep up the pressure on the home side, harassing Atlas players with every touch of the ball. Santos had a good chance in the 53rd minute when Julio Furch had a headed that went just wide of the net. In the 61st minute the match was paused while the referee reviewed a potential foul in the box but ultimately nothing was given. Erick Castillo had a good chance in the 68th minute but his shot was well saved by Vargas.
In the 86th, Santos’ pressing paid off as a shot ricocheted around in the box and Brian Lozano was there to poke it home to give Santos their second goal of the evening. It wasn’t pretty, but it would turn out to be the game winner.
There was some controversy as deep in stoppage time the game was stopped again for a VAR review of a handball in the box, and after a lengthy review the penalty was awarded. Osvaldo Martínez would convert to get Atlas back within one goal, but it would turn out to be too little, too late.
Atlas will head to Zacatepec to face CA Zacatepec on Tuesday in Copa MX play before going on to Veracruz to face Tiburones Rojos on Friday. Santos will head back to Guadalajara to face Chivas on Wednesday before returning home to host Puebla on Sunday.
Atlas: Camilo Vargas; Jesús Angulo (Brayan Trejo, 76’), Jorge Segura, Hugo Nervo, Diego Barbosa; Osvaldo Martínez, Diego Reyes, Andrés Andrade; Jairo Torres (Mauricio Cuero, 51’), Javier Correa, Jesús Isijara (Facundo Barceló, 69’)
Santos Laguna: Jonathan Orozco; Emilio Orrantía, Hugo Rodríguez, Matheus Doría, Gerardo Arteaga; Ulíses Rívas, Fernando Gorriarán, Adrián Lozano (Diego Valdés, 71’), Brian Lozano; Julio Furch, Erick Castillo (Brayan Garnica, 87’)
Scoring: Atlas - Osvaldo Martínez (90+2’ - penalty); Santos Laguna - Brian Lozano (17’, 86’)
Disciplinary: Atlas - Jesús Isijara (Yellow - 12’), Martín Nervo (Yellow - 28’), Jorge Segura (Yellow - 41’); Santos Laguna - Hugo Rodríguez (Yellow - 62’), Brian Lozano (Yellow - 72’)