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Match recap: Santos Laguna 3, FC Juárez 2

In a game that seemingly had everything, Santos gets back on the right track with a 3-2 win over Los Bravos.

Santos Laguna v FC Juarez - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX Photo by Jos Alvarez/Jam Media/Getty Images

A bit of a wild game that started with an own goal and ended with Carlos Acevedo making two huge saves late to preserve another home win for Santos. In between were goals from youth, goals from veterans, and a late penalty that threw what had seemed a certain win into doubt for Los Guerreros.

The game got off to a quick yet bizarre start when in the second minute Juárez defender Pol García passed the ball back toward goalkeeper Enrique Palos. Palos went to stop the ball but inexplicably missed and the ball rolled into the back of the net.

Santos didn’t look back. In the 11th minute Santos looked like they were going to score again when Fernando Gorriarán hit a shot from close range but Palos made a decent stop on the ball, pushing it away. They applied nearly constant pressure to the Juárez defense, forcing Palos to make big saves. In the 26th he made a diving save on a shot from Santiago Muñoz that looked certain to double the lead. Muñoz would convert minutes later when he got his head onto a great cross from Jesús Isijara for his second Liga MX goal.

Juárez had a decent chance in the 33rd when Jefferson Intriago hit a shot from distance but it missed high and wide. Santos still kept applying pressure, moving the ball well and looking to exploit the Juárez left flank by funneling passes to Jesús Isijara to hit crosses in toward Muñoz, Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre, and when he pressed up into the play, Fernando Gorriarán.

Santos did not let up in the second half, still applying pressure and largely keeping the ball in the Juárez end of the field. Juan Ferney Otero got his first shot of the evening in the 57th with a long range blast that Palos saw the entire way and made the save on. A minute later Muñoz had a shot that just never hooked back onto goal, winding up going well wide of the net.

Juárez got their first chance in the 64th when Dario Lezcano was able to get in past the defense, but he held onto the ball too long and it was eventually cleared out for a corner kick. Then at the other end, Palos was forced to make a shot on a rocket of a shot from about 20 yards out by Fernando Gorriarán, tipping it over the bar. On the ensuing corner kick, Matheus Dória got his foot onto the inbound ball and directed it in past Palos to make it 3-0.

A minute after the goal, Muñoz was again played into the box and it was a heroic sliding tackle from Victor Velázquez at the last second that cleared the ball off of Muñoz’ foot and out of bounds. Juárez would however pull one back in the 76th when Luis Pavez was able to create some space on the ball and hit a shot that beat Carlos Acevedo near post.

Then a minute later play would be stopped so referee Luis Enrique Santander could check a purported foul in the box. Santander ruled that Alan Cervantes had stepped on the foot of Dario Lezcano and pointed to the spot. Lezcano stepped up and converted the penalty to draw Juárez within one with just ten minutes to go.

Acevedo would come up big however in the 82nd when he made a great reaction save on a header from close range. Acevedo made a sliding tackle to stop a rush in the 90th minute, paying for it a bit with a hard collision but stopping the ball regardless and Santos hung on for their fourth win of the tournament.

Santos heads to México City to face Pumas on Thursday, March 4 before returning home to host Necaxa on Sunday, March 7. Juárez meanwhile will return home to host Monterrey on Wednesday, March 3 and then head to Guadalajara to face Atlas on Saturday, March 6.

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Ronaldo Prieto, Hugo Rodríguez, Matheus Dória, Jesús Isijara; Omar Campos (Jesús Ocejo, 69’), Fernando Gorriarán, Alan Cervantes, Juan Ferney Otero (Jordan Carrillo, 82’); Eduardo Aguirre (Andrés Ibargüen, 69’), Santiago Muñoz

FC Juárez: Enrique Palos; Alberto Acosta, Víctor Velázquez, Pol García, Luis Pavez; Andrés Iniestra (William Mendieta, 45’), Jefferson Intriago; Matías García (Marco Fabián, 64’), Francisco Contreras (José Joaquín Esquivel, 45’), Flavio Santos (Ayron Del Valle, 55’); Dario Lezcano

Scoring: Santos Laguna - Pol García (autogol - 3’), Santiago Muñoz (28’), Matheus Dória (66’); FC Juárez - Luis Pavez (76’), Dario Lezcano (80’ - penalty)

Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - None; FC Juárez - Esteban Pavez (Yellow - 51’), Alberto Acosta (Yellow - 87’)