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Match recap: FC Juarez 1, Santos Laguna 1

A dull first half made way for a bizarre if not entertaining second half as Los Bravos and Los Guerreros play to a 1-1 draw.

FC Juarez v Santos Laguna - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Alvaro Avila/Jam Media/Getty Images

A Bryan Garnica goal in the 82nd minute was enough to rescue a point for Santos on an extremely hot night in the northern frontera. Dario Lezcano scored the lone goal in the 67th minute for an FC Juárez side that will be frustrated to not take all three points from a match in which they were the better team.

This match was very much a tale of two halves - the first of which saw very little action whatsoever. To call the first half a snooze fest would be putting it lightly. Neither goalkeeper was called into action until the 22nd minute when Ivan Vazquez Mellado made a diving stop to keep the score level at 0-0. FC Juárez didn’t have their first chance of the match until the 39th minute when Marco Fabian’s shot from inside the area went just wide of the goal.

In spite of neither team being able to generate many chances, it was FC Juárez who looked like the more dominant team throughout the first half. Los Bravos had more possession, accurate passes, and chances than Santos. This was definitely not something that would have been expected based on Los Bravos’ form in their previous few matches.

The second half, unlike the first, got off to a bang with the first chance coming just three minutes in as Flavio Santos’ shot off of a spectacular pass from Maxi Olivera going just over the goalpost. Just a few minutes after that a Santos shot forced Vazquez Mellado to make another stellar save to keep the score leveled at 0-0.

In the 64th minute, one of the most bizarre sequences of play of the entire Liga MX season took place. Maxi Olivera appeared to trip over himself and went down in the area. Inexplicably, the referee awarded FC Juárez with a penalty. Without so much as even a VAR review of the play, Dario Lezcano took the penalty and calmly slotted it home. After a short review, it was determined that Dario Lezcano had made an illegal move (a stuttered jump) prior to taking the penalty and as a result the whole thing had to be redone. Lezcano once again stepped up to the spot and in an almost identical fashion slotted the ball into the back of the net. This time, however, there was no VAR review and the goal was allowed to stand.

As the match wore on, it looked like Los Bravos were the team most likely to score. Several shots were deflected away by the Santos defense to prevent the visitors from falling behind by two goals. It wasn’t until the 75th minute that Santos finally began to put some pressure on the FC Juárez defense as they began sending crosses into the area. Finally, in the 82nd minute, one of those crossed found its target. Julio Furch headed a long cross back across the face of goal and Bryan Garnica nicked the ball past a charging Vazquez Mellado to level the score at 1-1.

With the goal, Club Santos were able to extend their unbeaten streak against FC Juárez to seven straight matches across all competitions. Garnica’s goal also ensured that Los Bravos’ winless streak since Jornada 3 would continue for at least one more match week. With the result, Santos find themselves in 12th place on 9 points while FC Juárez are in 15th with 7 points.

Scoring: FC Juárez - Dario Lezcano (67’ Pen); Santos - Bryan Garnica (82’)

Disciplinary: FC Juárez - Jefferson Intriago (22’), Luis Donaldo Hernandez (87’); Santos - Bryan Garnica (6’), Hugo Isaac Rodriguez (70’)