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Match recap: Santos Laguna 1, Monterrey 0

Matheus Dória gets a goal and heads a ball off of the line in stoppage as Santos downs Rayados in a sandstorm.

Santos Laguna v Monterrey - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

Center back Matheus Dória may have solidified his status as an icon with Santos Laguna, as he scored the lone goal and then in the dying moments of the match made the save of the game, heading a shot away to safety as Santos beat rivals Monterrey 1-0. To throw in another twist, the game was stopped in the second half due to a freak sandstorm.

The first minutes of the match were a bit of a jumbled mess, with both sides committing fouls on a whim. Monterrey had a bit better of possession early, but it didn’t amount to much. On the rare occasion Rayados were able to get possession deep Santos had answers, blocking shots and closing down passing lanes as soon as they opened. In the 11th minute Rogelio Funes Mori chested down a ball just outside of the six yard box but smashed his shot off of the post and out. Santos had their first chance a minute later when Ignacio Jeraldino got his head onto a cross but knocked the ball a couple of feet over the bar.

Santos started getting opportunities to counterattack, but wound up ending them before any real danger was created. Passes went too far and were gobbled up by goalkeeper Hugo González of simply went over the end line. Monterrey wasn’t able to get much during this either, with the best chance being Aké Loba hitting a nice cross in to Maxi Meza in the 25th, but Meza’s header went well over the crossbar. Loba would be subbed out for Dorlan Pabón in the 33rd minute with a non-contact injury. Loba was later shown in the bench with his right thigh wrapped. Carlos Rodríguez had a good look at goal in the 39th minute but pulled his shot well high.

In the 42nd minute it looked like Santos had scored when Ignacio Jeraldino played a ball over to Omar Campos, who rifled it in off of the underside of the crossbar. The goal was called off however because Jeraldino was offside.

Santos had the first good chance of the second half when a cross made its way through the box, but Fernando Gorriarán took a touch and couldn’t shoot before the ball was scrambled out of bounds. Raydos had a good chance off of a corner kick in the 55th but Funes Mori’s header went well wide. Santos however would break through in the 59th when Gorriarán whipped a cross into the box that the head of the unmarked Matheus Dória, who nodded the ball into the back of the net for his first goal of the season.

The game was then suspended for a few minutes when lluvia Lagunera (a sandstorm) made visibility impossible.

When the match resumed, both teams struggled to create much, however Santos began to apply pressure in the 80th minute, and when Rayados thought they had cleared it Alan Cervantes hit a shot from distance that forced González to make a save on. Rayados kept pressing for the tying goal, with Miguel Layún getting a couple of looks at goal, ultimately with nothing to show for it. Deep in stoppage time Rayados had a clear shot when Funes Mori fed the ball to a wide open Avilés Hurtado on the left wing, but Hurtado inexplicably sent the ball well into the stands. Then a scrum in the box forced Carlos Acevedo to punch the ball out, but it fell to a Monterrey player who shot the ball. Luckily Dória was there to head the ball clear and salvage the win for Santos.

Santos heads to San Luis Potosí to face Atleti on Thursday, February 18 while Monterrey will head to Aguascalientes to take on Necaxa on Friday, February 19.

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Ronaldo Prieto, Matheus Dória, Félix Torres, Carlos Orrantia; Juan Ferney Otero, Fernando Gorriarán, Alan Cervantes, Omar Campos (Andrés Ibargüen, 77’); Ignacio Jeraldino (Jesús Ocejo, 77’), Santiago Muñoz (Eduardo Aguirre, 90+3’)

Monterrey: Hugo González; Jesús Gallardo, Sebastián Vegas, Stefan Medina, César Montes; Carlos Rodríguez (Miguel Layún, 74’), Arturo González (Alfonso Alvarado, 75’), Maxi Meza (Avilés Hurtado, 60’), Matías Kranevitter; Aké Loba (Dorlan Pabón, 33’), Rogelio Funes Mori

Scoring: Santos Laguna - Matheus Dória (59’); Monterrey - None

Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Juan Ferney Otero (Yellow - 61’); Monterrey - Carlos Rodríguez (Yellow - 26’), Rogelio Funes Mori (Yellow - 62’), Jesús Gallardo (Yellow - 70’)