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Match preview: UNAM Pumas vs. Santos Laguna

Pumas and the league’s best defense will face off against Santos Laguna and the league’s best offense.

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Pumas v Cruz Azul - Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Game: Club de Fútbol Universidad Nacional A.C. vs. Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.

Date: Sunday, September 29th

Time: 1:00 p.m. Eastern, 12:00 p.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. Pacific, 5:00 p.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Olímpico Universitario (Coyocán, D.F.)

Referees: REF: Fernando Hernandez Gomez, AR1: Jose Ibrahim Martinez Chavarria, AR2: Cesar Cerritos García, 4TH: Mario Humberto Vargas Mata

Television: United States - TUDN; Mexico - TUDN; Canada - OneSoccer

Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription), Sling TV (Free trial + monthly subscription), Univision NOW, OneSoccer (Free trial + monthly subscription)

All-time record: Across all competitions Pumas holds the record, winning 28 to Santos’ 20 with 20 draws between the teams. The teams have only ever met in Liga MX play. The last time the clubs met, Santos handed out a 5-2 thrashing at Estadio Corona TSM back on May 5. Santos got a brace from Julio Furch and goals from Diego Valdés, Matheus Dória, and Marlos Moreno while Pumas got goals from Ignacio Malcorra and Andrés Iniestra. The last time Santos visited CU, the clubs drew 1-1 back on November 25, 2018. In that one, Jonathan Rodríguez scored for Santos while Matheus Dória had an autogol to give Pumas their only score of the afternoon.

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

After a dominant win against Veracruz (0W 2D 8L), superlíder Santos Laguna (7W 2D 1L) heads to CU to face a Club Universidad Nacional Pumas (4W 2D 4L) team who are fighting to get in the Liguilla for the first time since the 2018 Apertura. Santos has only faltered once this season, losing 3-0 to Necaxa (6W 2D 3L) back in Week 5.

They boast the top two goalscorers in Liga MX, with Julio “El Emperador” Furch scoring eight in ten games and Brian “Huevo” Lozano scoring six. Their 26 goals see them atop the standings despite already having had their bye week, and they’ve only conceded 12 which is third best in the league.

Pumas UNAM v Cruz Azul - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX
Canterano Alfredo Saldívar has been critical to Pumas’ league-leading defense.
Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Santos seem like a team without a weakness at the moment, however if there’s a place where weaknesses are exposed it’s under the noon sun at Estadio Olímpico Universitario. Pumas have 10 points from a possible 15 from their home games this season, losing to Tigres UANL (3W 5D 2L) in Week 3 and drawing Cruz Azul (2W 7D 2L) in Week 10. Their defense has been suffocating, giving up just nine goals in ten games, only three of which came at home.

Pumas back line of Alan Mozo, Luis Quintana, Nicolás Friere, and Jeison Angulo is aided not only by goalkeeper Alfredo Saldívar but defensive midfielder Andrés Iniestra. Mozo, Quintana, and Saldívar are all canteranos or players developed at UNAM’s cantera (youth academy). All told Pumas currently has 15 canteranos on the roster of 25.