Santos Laguna have now won four of their last five and are unbeaten over that same stretch as they defeat Atlético de San Luis 2-1 at TSM. Gael Sandoval scored his third of the season and Julio Furch converted his fourth penalty of the season for the home side, while Germán Berterame’s fifth goal of the campaign was the lone goal for the visitors.
Santos had a decent chance in the sixth minute when a free kick found the head of Julio Furch, who nodded it along back post toward Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre, but he was a step slow and the ball sailed harmlessly out of bounds. The game was largely fouls and defensive positioning during the early going, with both teams looking perhaps a little wary of the other. Santos’ next chance came in the 21st minute when Mudo Aguirre got some time and space at the top of the box but his shot along the turf was easily stopped by Axel Werner. Santos almost gave up an easy one in the 22nd minute when a back pass seemed to catch Carlos Acevedo unaware. He was able to poke it out of bounds at the last second, conceding a corner kick but averting disaster.
Things would change however in the 24th when Santos drove down the field and Brayan Garnica hit a cross to a wide-open Gael Sandoval, who smashed it in for his third goal of the season.
San Luis wouldn’t allow the lead to stand for long however. In the 29th minute Germán Berterame got his head onto a corner kick and knocked it past Acevedo to draw the sides level.
Both teams were looking fairly dangerous on the attack, forcing the other team to make plays to keep the final shot from being on target or the final pass from hitting its mark. Acevedo made a good diving save in the 41st minute on a shot from just outside the box. Two minutes later it was a long ball over the top to Sandoval that almost resulted in a Santos goal but for a clearance off of the line by Camilo Mayada.
Santos started off the second half on the front foot and it paid off in the 49th minute when Aguirre went up against Berterame for a ball in the box and Berterame hit Aguirre in the face with a forearm. Julio Furch stepped up and rocketed the ball into the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season to give Santos the 2-1 lead.
Santos had perhaps another call for a penalty in the 53rd minute when a player hit the deck in the box, but referee Eduardo Galvan Basulto allowed play to continue. Santos did well to control the flow and tempo of play, playing to their strengths of patience and looking for a good chance to counterattack. San Luis struggled to find ideas, while Santos didn’t need to find an idea and simply played their style of play.
Santos almost got another in the 79th when Ventura Alvarado tried to allow a ball to go out of bounds but Fernando Gorriarán ran around him to keep it in along the end line and hit a centering pass to Julio Furch. Furch got a touch on it but it was poked out over the end line by an Atleti player.
San Luis had a good opportunity in the 84th when Berterame got his head onto a cross in the box but it missed just wide of the net. In the first minute stoppage time, Matheus Dória hit a free kick that missed the post by mere inches. But Santos had the goals that they needed in order to get the points they needed to strengthen their position in the Liguilla race.
Santos will travel to play León on Monday, November 2 while San Luis returns home to host Mazatlán on Thursday.
Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; David Andrade, Matheus Dória, Hugo Rodríguez, Josecarlos Van Rankin; Alan Cervantes, Fernando Gorriarán, Brayan Garnica (Carlos Orrantia, 60’), Gael Sandoval (Ronaldo Prieto, 83’); Eduardo Aguirre (Santiago Muñoz, 72’), Julio Furch
Club Atlético de San Luis: Axel Werner; Dionicio Escalante, Ventura Alvarado, Ramiro González, Camilo Mayada; Anderson Julio (Diego Pineda, 80’), Jorge Sánchez, Juan David Castro (Pablo López, 61’), Pablo Barrera (Ricardo García, 80’); Mauro Quiroga (Matías Catalán, 69’), Germán Berterame
Scoring: Santos Laguna - Gael Sandoval (24’), Julio Furch (penalty - 50’); Club Atlético de San Luis - Germán Berterame (29’)
Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Alan Cervantes (Yellow - 11’); Club Atlético de San Luis - Ventura Alvarado (Yellow - 73’)