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Match recap: Santos Laguna 1, Pachuca 1

While both teams needed a win, Santos and Pachuca have to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Santos Laguna v Pachuca - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

Coming into the match, both Santos and Pachuca needed a win to help bolster their Liguilla ambitions. Pachuca had an opportunity to go as high as sixth in the table, while Santos could have potentially leapfrogged Tuzo had they beaten them by more than three goals. Instead, both wound up with a solitary point with Pachuca staying in eighth place and Santos remaining in ninth.

The game started out slow, as neither team could really get much going. Both teams spent most of the first quarter hour probing the other for weaknesses but finding none. Sometimes passes went to no one in particular or fouls were committed to strategically slow the run of play, but more often than not it was good defending that intercepted a final pass or stopped a run forward.

The first play of note came in the 31st minute when Carlos Acevedo tried playing a pass but Ismael Sosa was in his space and deflected the ball toward goal. Luckily for Santos the ball hooked away from the goal and Matheus Dória was able to clear it out of danger before providing the young goalkeeper a word or two of wisdom.

Just as the first half looked like it would finish 0-0, Luis Chávez had a moment of magic, taking a a shot from 30 yards out that looked to catch Acevedo flat-footed. The shot ripped through traffic and tucked into the far corner of the net to give the visitors the lead as the clock ebbed toward the break.

But as quickly as the lead appeared, it evaporated. A pass into the box toward Octavio Rivero saw him cleaned out from behind by Miguel Herrera in a leaping kick that would make his namedoppelgänger proud. Julio Furch stepped up and converted the penalty and referee Jorge Castillo blew his whistle to end the half.

The second half started off more alive than the first half before stoppage but not as crazed as the stoppage time itself. Julio Furch had a decent look at goal in the 51st minute, but his shot was deflected out for a corner kick. A minute later Fernando Gorrarán and Víctor “Pocho” Guzmán ran into one another, with Guzmán elbowing Gorriarán in the face as Gorri ran into the back of Pocho’s leg. Guzmán was shown a yellow card, while Gorriarán was not shown a second yellow.

In the 73rd minute it looked like Pachuca had broken through and Víctor Dávila scored a goal, but it was ruled as offside. Pachuca started to threaten, gaining and keeping possession in Santos’ end for decent amounts of time. Santos was able to sit back and absorb the pressure, counterattacking when the opportunity presented itself but not exposing too much in the pursuit of a second goal.

Late in the game Erick Aguirre went up for a ball and Josecarlos Van Rankin came in and caught Aguirre in the jaw with his head. The match was stopped for several minutes but Aguirre was able to go off under his own power. In the second minute of stoppage, Santos had a golden opportunity when a corner kick went across the box to the head of Carlos Orrantia, but Oscar Ustari mad a fantastic diving save to rob Orrantia of the goal. Shortly thereafter Jorge Rojas blew his whistle to end the match.

Santos remains at home for their third straight match at TSM when they host Atlético de San Luis next Sunday in the late game, while Pachuca returns home to host Pumas on Monday, October 26.

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; David Andrade, Matheus Dória, Hugo Rodríguez, Josecarlos Van Rankin; Gael Sandoval (Carlos Orrantia, 72’), Alan Cervantes, Fernando Gorriarán, Brayan Garnica (Adrián Lozano, 70’); Octavio Rivero (Jesús Ocejo, 78’), Julio Furch

Pachuca: Oscar Ustari; Karl Álvarez, Gustavo Cabral, Miguel Herrera, Erick Aguirre; Víctor Guzmán, Luis Chávez (Efraín Orona. 87’), Erick Sánchez; Romario Ibarra (Cristian Souza, 40’), Roberto de la Rosa (Roberto Nurse, 65’), Ismael Sosa (Víctor Dávila, 65’)

Scoring: Santos Laguna - Julio Furch (penalty - 45+4’); Pachuca - Luis Chávez (45’)

Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Fernando Gorriarán (Yellow - 33’); Pachuca - Luis Chávez (Yellow - 36’), Víctor Guzmán (Yellow - 53’)