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Match recap: Necaxa 2, Santos Laguna 1

Santos allows two goals in six minutes to drop three points against Necaxa.

Necaxa v Santos Laguna - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Going into the 60th minute, Santos Laguna was well in control of the match. 10 minutes later they were down and chasing Necaxa, ultimately losing 2-1 to Los Rayos at Estadio Victoria.

Santos pressed almost from the opening whistle, with players flying around the pitch and blocking passing lanes. Fernando Gorriarán in particular was harrying Necaxa players into making poor decisions and then quickly getting himself into position when Santos was able to recoup the ball. In the 14th minute it was Diego Valdés who picked off an errant pass deep to create a chance for Santos. Necaxa didn’t get their first real chance on goal until after the 20th minute, and Carlos Acevedo was able to easily stop the slow-roller. At the other end, Santos finally got their first shot on goal in the 22nd when Dória hit one from distance that Luis Malagón was able to read all the way and smother.

A bit of a scary moment in the 30th minute when Félix Torres and Lucas Passerini clashed heads. Both players were down for a couple of minutes but both would be able to continue. Santos would finally break through in the 34th minute when a free kick found Dória’s head in the mixer, and he was able to get enough on it to get it past Malagón

Necaxa had an immediate reaction and looked more dangerous than they had the entire half. Carlos Acevedo made a fantastic save, diving to swipe a ball clear of danger. Any potential momentum was quickly snuffed out thanks to Santos’ suffocating press.

As the second half settled in, the play once again turned physical, with players knocking one another about and referee Adonai Escobedo doing his best to keep order. Julio Furch had his first crack at goal in the 55th, but his shot went high and wide of Malagón’s net. In the 60th, Necaxa equalized when a ball from deep was played back toward center by Passerini. Claudio Baeza was the trailing runner and hit the ball at full speed, rifling it into the back of the net.

Necaxa would fine the net again six minutes later when a corner kick was headed by Unai Bilbao. The shot caught Acevedo moving the wrong way and Necaxa had the lead.

Necaxa almost had a third in the 72nd minute when a defensive breakdown allowed Alejandro Zendejas to tee up a shot. Luckily Acevedo was able to see it the entire way and got a glove on it to knock it out for a corner kick. Malagón also made a fantastic save in the 77th on a free kick from short range. Santos would seemingly get a break in the 81st when David Cabrera kicked Valdés from behind just outside of the box and was sent off. Escobedo would consult VAR, and after a brief review the red was overturned in favor of a yellow.

Santos was able to keep the pressure on and elicit set piece opportunities, but ultimately couldn’t convert any and gave up precious points on the road. Necaxa will head to CDMX to face off against Cruz Azul on Saturday while Santos returns home to host Querétaro on Sunday.

Necaxa: Luis Malagón; Idekel Domínguez, Unai Bilbao, Julio César González, David Cabrera; Jhoao Rodríguez (Alejandro Zendejas, 58’), Ricardo Chávez, Claudio Baeza, Lucas Passerini (Mario de Luna, 90’); Maximiliano Salas (Martín Barragán, 58’), Juan Delgado (Fernando Arce, Jr., 84’)

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Alan Cervantes, Matheus Dória, Hugo Rodríguez, Félix Torres; David Andrade (Jair González, 68’), Ulíses Rívas, Fernando Gorriarán, Diego Valdés; Julio Furch, Eduardo Aguirre (Octavio Rivero, 55’)

Scoring: Necaxa - Claudio Baeza (60’), Unai Bilbao (65’); Santos Laguna - Matheus Dória (34’)

Disciplinary: Necaxa - Lucas Passerini (Yellow - 28’), Unai Bilbao (Yellow - 75’), David Cabrera (Yellow - 83’); Santos Laguna - Darwin Quintana (Yellow - 69’)