Game: Impulsora del Deportivo Necaxa S.A. de C.V. vs. Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.
Date: Friday, August 21st
Time: 8:30 p.m. Eastern, 7:30 p.m. Central, 5:30 p.m. Pacific, 12:30 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Victoria (Aguascalientes, Ags.)
Referees: REF: Adonai Escobedo González, AR1: Andres Hernández Delgado, AR2: Jorge Gerardo Dávila Cervantes, 4TH: Louis Adrian Vielmas Valdez, VAR: Oscar Macías Romo, AVAR: Angel Monroy Bello
All-time record: Necaxa holds the all-time record across all competitions with 25 wins to Santos’ 21, while the clubs have drawn 19 times. They still hold the edge in Liga MX play, with 24 wins to Santos’ 19 and 19 draws. The other matches were in the Copa MX, with Santos wining two and losing one to Los Rayos. The last time the clubs met at TSM was back on March 15 when Hugo Rodríguez and Brian Lozano scored to give Santos the 2-1 win. Félix Torres scored an own goal for Necaxa’s only tally of the evening. In their last meeting at Estadio Victoria, Necaxa beat Santos 3-0 on a brace from Maximiliano Salas and a goal from Mauro Quiroga.
After a rough doble jornada, Santos heads to Aguascalientes to face Necaxa. Santos lost 3-1 to América before drawing Atlas 0-0 at home, and now rumors are swirling that manager Guillermo Almada may be heading to Ecuador to manage the national team. The team currently sits in 14th place, outside of the expanded Liguilla standings.
The good news is that they’ve been getting outstanding performances from goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo, who has kept his team in games despite allowing seven goals in five games. Midfielder Fernando Gorriarán has also come into his own this season, entrenching himself as the dynamo that keeps the offense going and contributing three goals on the season so far.
Also good news for Santos is that despite them being poor on the road, they’re playing a Necaxa team that has only one win on the season (against Mazatlán FC) and hasn’t quite found their footing just yet. They’ve only scored three goals in the five games, with Lucas Passerini converting two penalties and Unai Bilbao scoring in the run of play against Monterrey last week.
Necaxa however has improved every week, albeit in fits and starts. They were able to draw América 1-1 at Estadio Victoria and are unbeaten in their last three. They have plenty of offensive talent, with Passerini augmented by Martín Barragán and Maximiliano Salas, although Barragán and Salas haven’t been consistently starting.
Both teams have talent and are underperforming. This could be a bellwether match to show what these teams are made of and whether or not they’re Liguilla material.