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Match recap: Santos Laguna 2, Tigres UANL 0

A brilliant performance by Carlos Acevedo anchors a solid 2-0 Santos win over regional rivals Tigres.

Santos Laguna v Tigres UANL - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX Photo by Jos Alvarez/Jam Media/Getty Images

This week, Santos Laguna named Carlos Acevedo as the club’s captain. He repaid their faith by putting forth a stellar performance, stopping a penalty and making several brilliant saves to lead Santos to a 2-0 win over Tigres UANL. Juan Ferney Otero got his first goal in Liga MX and Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre continued his good run of form with an insurance goal late.

The big talking points to start the game was the absence of Nicolás “El Diente” López and André-Pierre Gignac, Gignac was ruled out yesterday with a hip issue, however Diente traveled with the club but due to an ankle injury was a game time decision. Santos didn’t hesitate to use this to their advantage, pressing hard and making life miserable for Tigres players in possession. Tigres would get the first good chance of the evening though in the 14th when a cross from the right from Luis Quiñones made it’s way to Leo Fernández, but his shot was rocketed off of the post. Santos got their first chance in the 18th when Jesús Ocejo hit one from distance but Nahuel Guzmán saw it the entire way and made the easy save. In the 22nd, it was Jesús Isijara getting to a rebound and hitting a shot that Guzmán was able to make a diving stop on.

In the 31st, Tigres played a great ball into the box to Carlos González. González took a touch and then ripped a shot that Carlos Acevedo did well to turn aside. Then in the 33rd Santos’ Ronaldo Prieto grabbed a handful of Carlos Salcedo’s jersey in the box. Referee Fernando Guerrero went to VAR, and almost immediately awarded a penalty. Carlos González stepped up and smashed a shot but Acevedo read it perfectly and made the stop.

Tigres came out more aggressive offensively in the second half, and almost got a goal out of the gate. In the 47th minute González ripped a shot that went straight into the chest of Félix Torres. The rebound shot was also blocked and the danger was cleared out. Santos was able to wrest some of the momentum of the game back before too long, and the teams spent large portions of the first fifteen minutes of the half trying to get through the other’s defenses without much success.

Success finally came in the 74th though when Juan Ferney Otero was able to sneak in behind Luis “Chaka” Rodríguez on the left flank and get a great ball. Otero git a shot that a diving “Patón” Guzmán couldn’t get to.

Santos would double their lead in the 79th when another defensive breakdown by Tigres allowed a shot in the box. Patón made the initial stop but gave up a big rebound to Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre on the right. Mudo tucked his shot just inside of the near post despite Guzmán’s best effort to get up and dive toward it.

Then immediately Tigres came down and had a chance on goal of their own, but again Acevedo rose to the occasion, stoning Julián Quiñones at close range. Santos was able to waste time and keep the ball out of dangerous spaces, depriving Tigres of any opportunity to get back into the game and got a deserved three points on the night.

Santos will head to Mazatlán to face Mazatlán FC on Friday night while Tigres will head to Guadalajara to face Atlas on Saturday.

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Ronaldo Prieto, Félix Torres, Matheus Dória, Jonathan Díaz; Juan Ferney Otero (Antonio Campos, 83’), Fernando Gorriarán, Alan Cervantes, Jesús Isijara (Eduardo Aguirre, 65’) ; Diego Valdés (Adrián Lozano, 87’), Jesús Ocejo (Ignacio Jeraldino, 65’)

Tigres UANL: Nahuel Guzmán; Jesús Dueñas, Carlos Salcedo, Hugo Ayala, Luis Rodríguez; Javier Aquino, Guido Pizarro, Rafael Carioca, Luis Quiñones; Leonardo Fernández (Julián Quiñones, 67’), Carlos González

Scoring: Santos Laguna - Juan Ferney Otero (74’), Eduardo Aguirre (79’); Tigres UANL - None

Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Jonathan Díaz (Yellow - 59’); Tigres UANL - Luis Rodríguez (Yellow - 30’)