Game: Mazatlán Fútbol Club vs. Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.
Date: Friday, January 22nd
Time: 10:30 p.m. Eastern, 9:30 p.m. Central, 7:30 p.m. Pacific, 3:30 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Mazatlán (Mazatlán, Sin.)
Referees: REF: César Arturo Ramos Palazuelos, AR1: Andres Hernández Delgado, AR2: Juan Carlos Salinas Salinas, 4TH: Juan Andres Esquivel Gonzalez, VAR: Juan Joel Rangel Maya, AVAR: Fabrice Paul Plancon-jallet
All-time record: This will be the second time that Santos Laguna has faced off against Mazatlán, thrashing them 4-0 in their lone meeting back on November 8, 2020 with Hugo Rodríguez getting a brace as well as goals from Josecarlos Van Rankin and Fernando Gorriarán. They did face their predecessors Monarcas Morelia a number of times. Monarcas held the slight edge all time with 22 wins to Santos’ 21, and the clubs had 17 draws between them. The only time the clubs met outside of Liga MX play was in the 2003-2004 Interliga when Monarcas won 3-2 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Undefeated Santos Laguna (2W 0D 0L) heads to Mazatlán to face the eponymous Mazatlán FC (1W 0D 1L) in their first road trip of the season. Santos has played almost perfect soccer to this point, allowing no goals and only a handful of chances. Goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo seems to mature every game, stopping a penalty early in the last game out against Tigres (1W 0D 1L) that swung the momentum of the game firmly in favor of Los Guerreros.
While it’s a small sample size, Santos’ three goals in two games is pretty respectable despite the club not having a proven goalscorer in the same vein as an André-Pierre Gignac or Jonathan “Cabecita” Rodríguez. They do however have faith that the goals can(and do) come from anywhere.
Mazatlán does however have those types of goalscorers, with Camilo Sanvezzo and Fernando Aristeguieta both capable of taking the game on their shoulders and putting one into the back of the net. The issue with both Sanvezzo and Aristeguieta are consistency. Both can go cold as easily as they can heat up, and you have to respect both.
Mazatlán have roster that seems full of players who have worlds of talent but haven’t been able to consistently tap into that talent. Goalkeeper Nicolás Vikonis, defender Efraín Velarde, midfielders Luis “Quick” Mendoza and Gael Sandoval are all capable of playing lights out soccer, and if the stars align they’re a formidable side. But a couple of players having off games will blunt the attack and open up the defense.
This should be a good game between two teams that have loads of potential. Whichever team plays up to their fullest potential will most likely bring home all of the points.