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Match recap: Santos Laguna 4, Mazatlán FC 0

Santos got a bit of a miracle, beating Mazatlán to leapfrog Pachuca and Chivas into hosting a repechaje match.

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

Santos Laguna needed a miracle to host their repechaje match, and they got it as Hugo Rodríguez scored a brace, Josecarlos Van Rankin got a rare goal, and Fernando Gorriarán converted a penalty in stoppage to beat Mazatlán and in the process finish in eighth place.

Mazatlán had the first good chance of the match in the first minute when Martín Rodríguez went streaking down the field and hit a shot that just missed tucking inside of the post. Two minutes later it was Mario Osuna taking a shot from distance that whistled wide to Acevedo’s right. Santos would start applying pressure at their end of the pitch, both in terms of pressing when Mazatlán had the ball in their end and offensively. Octavio Rivero got a good look at goal in the seventh minute and in the ninth off of a set piece it was Gael Sandoval with a shot that Ricardo Gutiérrez had to make a save on.

Santos kept pressing and it seemed to get under Mazatlán’s skin a little, as the visitors began fouling hard and often. Santos took it in stride, continuing to press and almost forcing a mistake in the 20th minute when a back pass to Ricardo Gutiérrez came close to being deflected by the Santos press but Gutiérrez was able to scramble it away.

In the 26th minute there was a bit of controversy when Mazatlán broke in on Santos and Martín Rodríguez took it to the end line, Hugo Rodríguez made a sliding tackle but the ball looked to hit his arm on the way out. Referee César Ramos declined to review it with VAR and a corner kick was awarded.

Santos came close again in the 39th when Fernando Gorriarán hit a rocket from distance that just went over the top of the crossbar. In the 43rd Gutiérrez was forced to make a fantastic save on a Julio Furch header off of a set piece. The fingertip save by the goalkeeper ensured the half ended in a scoreless tie.

It wasn’t long into the second half that Santos took the lead. in the 49th off of a Gael Sandoval free kick, Fernando Gorriarán sent a ball in that made its way through traffic somehow and was re-directed by Hugo Rodríguez for the center back’s first goal of the season.

Things went from bad to worse for Mazatlán as a minute later Jose Ortiz was shown a red card for a hard challenge. But Mazatlán seemed undeterred in the short run as Carlos Acevedo was called on to make a couple of fantastic saves to keep the lead. It paid off in the 59th minute when Josecarlos Van Rankin picked up his second goal of the season when he got off an uncontested shot in the box that beat Gutiérrez to the far post.

Santos smelled blood in the water. In the 61st minute a header by Gorriarán hit off of the underside of the bar and went out. Julio Furch was there and hit a shot that was cleared off of the line, but he was clearly offside and if it had gone in it wouldn’t have counted. Santos kept pressuring and in the 75th off of a corner kick Matheus Dória hit a header that went just wide and just missed a sliding Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre. In the 84th it was Jesús Ocejo hitting a shot that went over the bar. In the 85th Rodríguez would score again when he was able to hit a shot on a cross into the box that beat Gutiérrez to make it 3-0.

Santos kept the pressure up, knowing that a win by four goals would leapfrog them into eighth place and guarantee a home match in the repechaje.Then as the clock approached 90 minutes, Diego Valdés went to head a ball in the box and was kicked in the head. César Ramos awarded a penalty and Fernando Gorriarán converted it to give Santos the 4-0 lead needed to host the repechaje match.

Santos will host Pachuca in the repechaje on November 21 or 22, while Mazatlán will begin their offseason.

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; David Andrade, Matheus Dória, Hugo Rodríguez, Josecarlos Van Rankin; Alan Cervantes (Diego Valdés, 71’), Fernando Gorriarán, Brayan Garnica (Carlos Orrantia, 45’), Gael Sandoval (Ronaldo Prieto, 82’); Octavio Rivero (Eduardo Aguirre, 71’), Julio Furch (Jesús Ocejo, 82’)

Mazatlán FC: Ricardo Gutiérrez; Efraín Velarde (Carlos Vargas, 73’), Nicolás Díaz, Jose Ortiz, Israel Jiménez; Mario Osuna, Aldo Rocha; Luis Mendoza (César Huerta, 73’), Jorge Valdivia, Martín Rodríguez (Rodrigo Millar, 61’); Camilo Sanvezzo (Fernando Aristeguieta , 73’)

Scoring: Santos Laguna - Hugo Rodríguez (48’, 85’), Josecarlos Van Rankin (59’), Fernando Gorriarán (penalty - 90+2’); Mazatlán FC - None

Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Fernando Gorriarán (Yellow - 56’); Mazatlán FC - Jose Ortiz (Yellow - 36’, Red - 50’), Nicolás Díaz (Yellow - 90+1’)