Thanks to injuries and international call ups Santos Laguna started the match shorthanded, however it was a red card in the 78th minute that left Pachuca shorthanded as the clubs played to a 1-1 draw in a cold and rainy Estadio Hidalgo. The match was an entertaining affair, with both teams getting plenty of chances to change their fortunes.
Neither team showed much in the opening moments, however the pace slowly picked up over the course of the first half until it reached a rolling boil. In the seventh minute Juan Ferney Otero sent a nice ball into Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre in the box, however Mudo’s shot went well high of its intended target. In the 10th minute, Roni Prieto committed a foul at the edge of the box on Erick Sánchez, conceding the free kick. The training ground attempt was sent to Sánchez at the top of the box, but he completely missed however it did result in a shot by Roberto De La Rosa that went well wide of the net. A minute later De La Rosa was set up with another good opportunity, but missed wide once again.
In the 15th minute there was some controversy when Matheus Dória cleared the ball, and in the process hit Jahaziel Marchand with his studs. While Dória made contact with Marchand’s leg, it wasn’t malicious or reckless and he was shown a yellow card, much to the dismay of the Pachuca players and fans. In the 21st, a poor giveaway by Pachuca almost lead to a goal as Juan Ferney Otero hit a rocket but it skidded just wide of the far post. In the 24th, Yairo Moreno hit a shot that hit off of the post and then less than a minute later Avilés Hurtado hit one well over the crossbar at an empty net.
In the 27th minute Mudo Aguirre looked to have a breakaway but a fantastic sliding tackle was executed with surgical precision by Miguel Herrera Equihua. A handball just outside of the box resulted in a free kick from Pachuca in the 39th minute, but Gibran Lajud made a nice diving stop on Hurtado’s try to keep things scoreless. Hurtado was denied again in the 42nd by a nice block by Ismael Govea, In the 44th, Romario Ibarra made a fantastic move along the right and threaded a pass through traffic to a wide open Hurtado, but Lajud made a fantastic save on his former teammate. Then at the other end, Alessio Da Cruz wound up one-on-one with Oscar Ustari, but while the shooting angle was poor however Da Cruz was able to get a corner kick out of the play. Shortly after, the halftime whistle blew, bringing the torrid first half to an end.
Less than 30 second into the second half, Marchand hit a wide open shot that went just over the crossbar, signifying the blistering pace of the first half hadn’t been exclusive to the first 45 minutes. A minute later it was Dória hitting a powerful shot that went just wide of the net. But the fast pace of the offensive chances slowed in favor for a quickened pace of fouling. In the 65th minute Pachuca broke the deadlock when they were able to hit Santos on a counterattack and Nicolás Ibáñez made a nice move to evade a slide tackle from Dória and fire past Lajud.
Pachuca almost had a second in the 75th minute when Ibarra had a look at a wide open net but chipped it a little too high. A minute later Miguel Herrera Equihua knocked down Ignacio Jeraldino just outside of the box and was shown a yellow card. Referee Oscar Mejía showed Herrera Equihua a yellow card, but after a quick VAR check changed the card from yellow to red.
Santos pressed hard looking for the equalizer. In the 82nd a nice pass from Fernando Gorriarán looked destined for the head of Mudo Aguirre, but a nice interception by Yairo Moreno knocked the ball out of bounds. Hugo Rodríguez had a good chance on the ensuing play, but his shot went high of the net. Then in the 86th minute the pressure paid off when Ibarra committed a clear handball in the box, and Mejía wasted no time in calling the penalty. Gorriarán smashed the ball into the back of the net to draw the teams level.
Ignacio Jeraldino had to be subbed out due to an injury, playing just 20 minutes before hobbling down the tunnel and into the locker room. Santos kept pressing, looking for a game winner in stoppage. Gorriarán had a good shot in the 94th that was deflected out for a corner. Then Dória getting a touch on the ball forcing Ustari to make a save. Ustari made another fantastic save on Jordan Carrillo, leaping to push the ball over the crossbar before the final whistle blew.
Pachuca heads to Monterrey for a midweek matchup, taking on Tigres on Wednesday, October 20 before hosting Juárez on Sunday, October 24. Santos meanwhile will head to Mexico City to face América on Tuesday, October 19 before heading back to TSM to host Toluca on Sunday, October 24.
Pachuca: Oscar Ustari; Yairo Moreno, Gustavo Cabral, Miguel Herrera Equihua, Kevin Álvarez; Erick Sánchez (Víctor Guzmán,89’), Jahaziel Marchand (Harold Mosquera, 59’), Jorge Hernández, Romario Ibarra (Pablo López, 89’); Roberto De La Rosa (Nicolás Ibáñez, 58’), Avilés Hurtado
Santos Laguna: Gibran Lajud; Ismael Govea, Hugo Rodríguez, Matheus Dória, Alan Cervantes (Jordan Carrillo, 74’); Juan Ferney Otero, Roni Prieto (Fernando Gorriarán, 59’), Omar Campos, Alessio Da Cruz (Diego Valdés, 59’); Alberto Ocejo (Ignacio Jeraldino, 74’, Ayrton Preciado, 90+3’)), Eduardo Aguirre
Scoring: Pachuca - Nicolás Ibáñez (69’); Santos Laguna - Fernando Gorriarán (88’ - penalty)
Disciplinary: Pachuca - Avilés Hurtado (Yellow - 28’), Yairo Moreno (Yellow - 71’), Miguel Herrera Equihua (Red - 78’); Santos Laguna - Matheus Dória (Yellow - 15’), Alan Cervantes (Yellow - 35’), Roni Prieto (Yellow - 51’)