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Match recap: Toluca 1, Santos Laguna 2

Santos picks up their first road win since February, downing Toluca 2-1 in a dominant performance.

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

Santos Laguna got their first win on the road since February 23rd, downing Toluca 2-1 thanks to goals from Gael Sandoval and Octavio Rivero. A late goal by Michael Estrada spoiled a grand performance from Carlos Acevedo, who seems to get even better every game.

Santos had the fist good chance of hte game in the first minute when Gael Sandoval had a shot that Luis García saved. The Santos players were adament that there was a handball on the rebound, but referee Adonai Escobedo declined to give it a look in the VAR booth and play continued. David Andrade managed to get a long range shot off in the seventh minute, but it went wide by a couple of feet.

Santos did well to pin Toluca in their own end for large portions of the opening half, winning several set pieces but ultimately not converting on any of them. In the 14th it was Andrade with a header off of a corner kick that forced a brilliant save by García. García made another great save in the 27th when Matheus Dória got his head onto a free kick, but García was positioned well and the ball slammed off of his torso and out of danger.

Sandoval had a great chance in the run of play in the 38th when he was fed a great pass from Julio Furch, but García slapped the swerving ball up and over the crossbar. On the ensuing corner kick, the ball went out to Sandoval who put his laves through the it, and his shot skipped along the turf and past García.

Santos continued controlling the run of play into the second half, forcing Toluca to keep players back and harrying players any time they touched the ball. This paid off when the constant pressure forced a Toluca turnover in the 52nd minute. Goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo kicked a long ball upfield to Julio Furch, who headed it on. Octavio Rivero raced forward to get to it and smashed a shot past García to make it 2-0 for the men in black.

Santos then switched to playing a bit more defensively, keeping players behind the ball and not immediately looking to pressure Toluca defenders when they touched the ball. Toluca had their first chance of the game in he 62nd minute when a Rubens Sambueza hit a free kick from the right side of the box in on goal, but Acevedo did well to turn it aside and concede a corner kick. Sambueza then drew a free kick in the 64th minute just outside of the box, but the ensuing kick went into the wall and was cleared out of danger.

Then in the 72nd minute Carlos Acevedo made a fantastic series of saves, stopping a skipping free kick by Raúl López from about 25 yards out and then stopping the close range shot from Enrique Triverio off of the rebound.

Not to be outdone, García came up big when Santos got a break and Ulíses Rívas got a shot that García kicked wide. This kept Toluca in the game, and in stoppage time Toluca broke forward and Michael Estrada hit a shot that Acevedo couldn’t stop to draw the hosts within one.

But it was too little, too late as Santos hung on to get the rare away win. Next week, Toluca travels to Pachuca to take on Tuzos on Thursday while Santos’ game against Xolos has been suspended due to a COVID-19 outbreak at that club. The game will be played on October 9. The next game Santos is scheduled to play is Friday, October 2 against Puebla in Puebla.

Toluca: Luis García; Brandon Sartiaguin, Adrián Mora, Jonatan Maidana (Alan Medina, 34’), Raúl López; Carlos Cisneros (João Plata, 80’), Javier Güemez (Kevin Castañeda, 55’), Antonio Ríos, Rubens Sambueza; Enrique Triverio, Diego Abella (Michael Estrada, 55’)

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Josecarlos Van Rankin, Matheus Dória, Hugo Rodríguez, David Andrade; Gael Sandoval (Adrián Lozano, 77’), Diego Valdés (Alan Cervantes, 85’), Fernando Gorriarán, Brayan Garnica (Ulíses Rívas, 66’); Octavio Rivero (Eduardo Aguirre, 77’), Julio Furch (Jesús Ocejo, 86’)

Scoring: Toluca - Michael Estrada (90+1’); Santos Laguna - Gael Sandoval (39’), Octavio Rivero (52’)

Disciplinary: Toluca - Adrián Mora (Yellow - 45+1’), Rubens Sambueza (Yellow - 68’), Brandon Sartiaguin (Yellow - 88’); Santos Laguna - None