Coming into the Week 7 match, Santos hadn’t won on the road all season while FC Juárez hadn’t lost at home. These streaks would end after more than 100 minutes thanks in part to a dramatic Brian Lozano penalty for the game winning goal.
Santos opened the game strong, taking their high press to Juárez immediately and keeping Los Bravos on their heels. This would pay off in the seventh minute when a free kick in the area would be sent in and Eduardo “Lalo” Aguirre would head it into the top corner of the net to give the visitors the lead..
Minutes later Santos almost had a second when Brian Lozano drove in along the left and hit a pass to Julio Furch. Furch was able to get a touch on it, but the redirection missed the near post by about a foot. With the lead, Santos played with confidence and players were able to execute on several one- or two-touch passing sequences up and down the field. To their credit, Juárez didn’t panic and retained a focus on keeping a compact shape with players back on defense.
Juárez had a decent stretch around the 32nd minute, moving the ball in deep and getting numbers but Santos’ defense was able to hold firm and the resulting shot went well high and wide.
In the second half, Santos kept pressing forward to try and get a second, while Juárez started to break out of their shell defensively. They were almost rewarded in the 56th minute when a free kick from close range required a fantastic diving save from Jonathan Orozco to keep out. In the 68th, Juárez would finally break through when they hit a ball in and Flavio Santos was able to do a jumping kick to knock it in past Orozco to draw the sides level.
Orozco would keep Santos in the match, making a key save on a shot from Maxi Olivera in the 83rd. In the 88th, Hugo Rodríguez would pick up his second yellow card on the evening and be sent off, leaving Santos down a player. Santos looked close to conceding on the resulting free kick, which went off of the post and rolled along the line before being gathered up by Orozco before ever crossing. This would prove critical as into stoppage Brian Lozano would chase down a ball in the box and have his leg kicked out from underhim. After a lengthy VAR review, referee Alejandro Funk Villafañe would rule it was in fact a penalty. Lozano’s shot was true and strong, and on his 26th birthday he gave his teammates and fans the gift of an away win.
Juárez will head to San Luis Potosí to play Atlético San Luis on Friday while Santos returns to TSM to host Atlas on Sunday.
FC Juárez: Edmundo Iván Vázquez Mellado; Israel Jiménez, Bruno Romo, Víctor Velázquez, Maximiliano Olivera; José Esquivel, Martín Rabuñal (Flavio Santos, 62’), Jefferson Intriago; Dario Lezcano, Mauro Fernández (Brian Rubio, 77’), Ángelo Sagal
Santos Laguna: Jonathan Orozco; Gerardo Arteaga, Matheus Dória, Hugo Rodríguez, Josecarlos Van Rankin; Brian Lozano, Fernando Gorriarán, Ulíses Rívas, Emilio Orrantía (Eryc Castillo, 85’); Julio Furch (Octavio Rivero, 79’), Eduardo Aguirre (Diego Valdés, 75’)
Scoring: FC Juárez - Flavio Santos (68’); Santos Laguna - Eduardo Aguirre (7’), Brian Lozano (90+8’)
Disciplinary: FC Juárez - Jefferson Intriago (Yellow - 5’), Ángelo Sagal (Yellow - 81’), Brian Rubio (Yellow - 90’), Víctor Vázquez (Yellow, 90+10’); Santos Laguna - Matheus Dória (Yellow - 42’), Brian Lozano (Yellow - 72’), Hugo Rodríguez (Yellow - 70, Red - 88’)