Santos got their quest for a seventh star underway with a convincing 2-0 win against Atlético San Luis at TSM Corona. A nice goal from Ayrton Preciado and a penalty conversion from Ignacio Jeraldino puts Santos through into the Liguilla, while San Luis will start their offseason upon returning to San Luis Potosí.
Both teams started the game off looking to get something going. Santos had a couple of balls in from Ayrton Preciado on the left flank early, but one was cleared out and the other found no one and rolled harmlessly to Marcelo Barovero. Barovero came up huge in the ninth minute when Diego Valdés received the ball in deep and flicked it wide to the onrushing Fernando Gorriarán. “Gorri” hit a shot with pace but Barovero was able to tip the ball out. Santos was able to move the ball freely throughout the midfield for the most part, but San Luis was giving them absolutely nothing closer than 20 yards. In the 23rd minute Diego Valdés was able to quickly play a ball in past the defense to Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre, but Barovero read it well and stuffed the shot from close range.
Santos had the much better first half, but not getting anything from close range and not getting much of anything of quality from long range. There was perhaps a bit of controversy in stoppage time heading into the half when a ball in from Santos looked to have hit a San Luis player in the arm, but César Arturo Ramos didn’t call it and didn’t give it a VAR review, instead opting to blow his whistle to end the half.
The second half started with Santos taking it to San Luis. Right off the bat, Juan Ferney Otero got on the end of a give and go, driving from the right side of the box toward the center, and hit a shot but Barovero saw the entire thing and stopped it easily. Moments later, Mudo Aguirre was played in on goal but the ball was bouncing on the turf and he skied his shot. Santos then was able to get possession in the box and hold it for several agonizing seconds, but San Luis was able to get back on defense and cover. Santos had almost no lines of sight on the goal, and the resulting shot from Otero went wide of the net.
Santos continued to threaten, with Otero and Valdés linking up in the 58th minute, but Valdés’ shot was blocked at the last instant and went out for a corner. Two minutes later it was Ayrton Preciado with a shot from distance that just whistled wide of the net. Preciado would finally break through in the 64th minute when his mark slipped and he was in on goal all alone. Preciado hit a hard shot with precision and there was nothing Barovero could do.
Santos kept the pressure on and in the 83rd Beto Ocejo drove down and in an attempt to get the ball in hit Jair Díaz in the arm. Ignacio Jeraldino stepped up to the spot and converted for his first goal with the club.
After that, it was all a formality. Santos advances to the Liguilla and as the highest seed in the repechaje will face Tigres.
Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Omar Campos, Matheus Dória, Félix Torres, Carlos Orrantia; Alan Cervantes, Fernando Gorriarán; Ayrton Preciado (Jordan Carrillo, 75’), Diego Valdés (Alberto Ocejo, 79’), Juan Ferney Otero (Brian Lozano, 70’); Eduardo Aguirre (Ignacio Jeraldino, 69’)
Club Atlético de San Luis: Marcelo Barovero; Jair Díaz, Leo Coelho (Juan Castro, 33’), Unai Bilbao, Clemente Hernández (Facundo Waller, 62’); Juan Sanabria (Damián Batallini, 76’), Javier Güémez, David Rodríguez, Ricardo Chávez; Andrés Vombergar (Zahid Muñoz, 75’), Germán Berterame
Scoring: Santos Laguna - Ayrton Preciado (64’), Ignacio Jeraldino (85’ - penalty); Club Atlético de San Luis - None
Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Ayrton Preciado (Yellow - 66’); Club Atlético de San Luis - Clemente Hernández (Yellow - 4’), Andrés Vombergar (Yellow - 31’), Unai Bilbao (Yellow - 90+2’)