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Match recap: León 2, Santos Laguna 2

Santos and León play to a hard-fought draw.

Julio Furch and Brian Lozano have scored 14 of Santos Laguna’s 23 goals so far this season. Club Santos Laguna press release

A match that lived up to the billing as León and Santos Laguna, two of the best clubs in Liga MX at the moment, played to a 2-2 draw. Goals from four different players were interspersed with VAR reviews, controversial calls, and both managers picking up yellow cards.

In the 10th minute, a VAR review indicated that Pedro Aquino handled the ball in the box. Julio Furch would step up a minute later and bury the ball past Rodolfo Cota to give Santos the lead.

In the 15th minute it would be goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco’s turn to shine. He would deflect a shot from Ángel Mena into the corner of the crossbar and out for a corner. On the resulting set piece, he’d come out and snag the ball and prevent the hosts from leveling.

In the 22nd minute, Fernando Gorriarán would get the ball in the box and hit a square ball over to Ulíses Rívas. Rívas’ hit a shot that whistled just wide of Cota’s net. Santos did well to clog the passing lanes that León was attempting to use in the final third, intercepting most balls before they became problematic.

In the 31st, Fernando Navarro had a shot from distance that whistled over the bar. Two minutes later, Luis “Chapito” Montes had a shot that Orozco saw all of the way and made a textbook stop on.

At the other end in the 37th minute, Ramiro González jumped for a ball and drove his head and shoulders into the back and head of Adrián Lozano. After another VAR review, it was determined that it was only worthy of a yellow card and not a red. In the 42nd, Cota would come off of his line, slide, and grab a ball off of the foot of Brian Lozano in the box.

Deep in stoppage time, León would equalize when Santos defender Gerardo Arteaga misplayed a clearance and it wound up on the foot of José Juan Macías, and “JJ” turned and fired a shot that beat Jona Orozco to the far post.

Shorly after the half, León would score again. This time it was a great passing sequence that got the ball to Ángel Mena, and his shot was deflected off of a Santos defender and past Orozco.

Santos would level in the 53rd when Santos hit León on a counter and Furch fed a ball to Eryc Castillo, and “La Culebra” woiuld get his second goal of the season to draw the sides even yet again.

Santos had a great opportunity in the 76th minute when Brian Lozano went in on goal and hit a shot that took a deflection off of a defender and slowly rolled past Cota but just wide of the goal. There would be some controversy in the 78th as a León player shot a ball into a Santos player and the ball hit him in the face and glanced off of his arm. León manager Ignacio “Nacho” Ambríz was incensed, and earned a yellow card and a talking to from the referee.

While both sides tried to get the game-winner, neither were able to really get any good chances in the final 10 minutes or so.

Both teams have off next week for the international break. León will face Tigres UANL in Nuevo León on Saturday while Santos returns to action after the international break when they host Pachuca on Sunday, September 15.

León: Rodolfo Cota; Yairo Moreno, William Tesillo, Ramiro González (Joel Campbell, 46’), Andrés Mosquera, Fernando Navarro; Jean Menenses, Pedro Aquino, Ángel Mena (José Godínez; Luis Montes, José Juan Macías

Santos Laguna: Jonathan Orozco; Gerardo Arteaga, Matheus Dória, Félix Torres, Emilio Orrantía; Ulíses Rívas (José Juan Vázquez, 80’), Fernando Gorriarán; Brian Lozano, Adrián Lozano (Diego Valdés, 58’), Eryc Castillo; Julio Furch (Octavio Rivero, 84’)

Scoring: León - José Juan Macías (45+2’), Ángel Mena (47’) ; Santos Laguna - Julio Furch (11’ - penalty), Eryc Castillo (53’)

Disciplinary: León - Pedro Aquino (Yellow - 11’), Ramiro González (Yellow - 38’), Ignacio Ambríz (Yellow - 78’); Santos Laguna - Gerardo Arteaga (Yellow - 23’), Guillermo Almada (Yellow - 66’), Emilio Orrantía (Yellow - 73’)