Santos knew they had to take advantage of the first leg at their fortress TSM, and they did just that, getting a 2-1 win against Tigres to set the stage for the Vuelta (return leg) match on Sunday. Tigres however will feel comfortable going back to El Volcán down just a goal on aggregate and with the tiebreaker of finishing higher on the table during the regular season being in their favor.
Santos came out swinging, and it wasn’t long before they landed one when in the third minute of play Omar Campos hit a cross into the box that Diego Valdés got his head onto from seemingly out of nowhere, knocking it past Nahuel Guzmán to the delight of the crowd.
GOL de @ClubSantos— FOX Deportes (@FOXDeportes) November 26, 2021
Diego Valdés abre el marcador para los locales en los primeros minutos del encuentro. #FOXLigaMX con @SirJohnLaguna @marianot19 @emperadorsuarez @daniella_lg pic.twitter.com/nqpCfWFPWv
Santos almost got a second in the sixth minute when Juan Ferney Otero hit a cross from the left corner, but Nahuel Guzmán read it well and was able to get to the ball before Valdés put his head onto a second goal. Tigres however was able to hit a counterattack a minute later and the resulting shot from Nicolás “El Diente” López went wide of the far post. Santos was undeterred however, and some great build-up play in the 11th found Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre in on goal. His shot was true, and Santos was up 2-0 before the first quarter hour had past.
The game’s demeanor changed as both teams started fouling each other hard and often. Referee Oscar Macías kept his cards in his pockets however until the stoppage time of the first half, leaving the players to play through it how they saw fit. Tigres had a decent opportunity in the 27th when they got a counterattack going and André-Pierre Gignac hit a shot, however goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo was well positioned and read the shot the entire way, making the save look easy.
In the 33rd minute, “Chaka” Rodríguez dropped Omar Campos along the sidelines. Santos manager Guillermo Almada absolutely exploded, the two teams had a bit of a scrum with Gignac and Fernando Gorriarán exchanging some words and shoves. The sides eventually separated, while Campos had his wrist taped by the medical staff. Shortly after that, Juan Pablo Vigon had a header off of a set piece that grazed the outside of the post.
Tigres started the second half looking much more deliberate in possession, and it paid off with a good stretch of chances early that was mitigated by some good defensive work by Santos. Luis Rodríguez had a good chance in the 66th with a shot from the top of the box but it deflected out wide. In the 72nd, a pass from deep was headed over to André-Pierre Gignac, and in a moment of brilliance he hit it on the volley past Acevedo to draw one back for Tigres.
GO LA ZO de @10APG @TigresOficial descuenta con esta maravilla del francés que toma mal parado a Acevedo en el fondo. #FOXLigaMX @SirJohnLaguna @marianot19 @emperadorsuarez @daniella_lg pic.twitter.com/hDh3ytKkXC— FOX Deportes (@FOXDeportes) November 26, 2021
Santos wasn’t deterred however. In the 80th minute Brian Lozano got to a bouncing ball in the box and hit a left footed shot, however it skipped just wide of the net. GIgnac tried to replicate his goal in the 84th, but he didn’t hit it as cleanly as he did prior and Acevedo was able to easily snag the ball. Santos then had a good counter in the 88th minute but the resulting shot from Campos went into the crowd. Gignac had another header deep in stoppage time but Acevedo read it well and smothered it to end the game.
The return leg will be in Monterrey on Sunday, November 28.
Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo: Omar Campos, Félix Torres, Matheus Dória, Carlos Orrantia; Alan Cervantes, Fernando Gorriarán; Juan Ferney Otero, Diego Valdés (Ignacio Jeraldino, 82’), Ayrton Preciado (Hugo Rodríguez, 55’); Eduardo Aguirre (Brian Lozano, 71’)
@CharlyFutbol nos trae el #XIinicial con el que los #Guerreros saldremos esta noche a la cancha del Estadio Corona para enfrentar a @TigresOficial. #ConTodoPorLaCorona #ModoGuerrero⚔️ pic.twitter.com/wnYc7pKEzd— Club Santos (@ClubSantos) November 26, 2021
Tigres UANL: Nahuel Guzmán; Pedro Aquino, Carlos Salcedo, Juan José Sánchez, Hugo Ayala (Carlos González, 63’), Luis Rodríguez; Luis Quiñones, Rafael Carioca, Juan Pablo Vigon (Florian Thauvin, 74’); André-Pierre Gignac, Nicolás López (Leonardo Fernández, 63’)
Scoring: Santos Laguna - Diego Valdés (3’), Eduardo Aguirre (11’); Tigres UANL - André-Pierre Gignac (72’)
Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Eduardo Aguirre (Yellow - 45+2’), Darwin Quintana (Yellow - 48’), Carlos Orrantia (Yellow - 67’); Tigres UANL - Luis Rodríguez (Yellow - 45+1’), Luis Quiñones (Yellow - 66’), Juan José Sánchez (Yellow - 79’)