Coming into the match, Atlas hadn’t scored a goal all season and had one draw to show for it. It looked like that would continue until the very last play of the match when Atlas somehow scored and drew undefeated Santos Laguna 1-1.
Santos started out on the front foot, and it wouldn’t be long before their ability to create and maintain pressure paid off. In the ninth minute, some great lateral movement in the box found Omar Campos alone on the left side of the box. He took a touch and fired low and hard against the grain and past Camilo Vargas for his first goal at the top level of Mexican soccer.
Santos was relentless with the pressure, and Ignacio Jeraldino almost doubled the lead in the 29th with a shot from close range that Vargas was in the right position to stop. Atlas on the other hand was largely wasteful with the chances they had. Passes often went to no one in particular, shots were hopeful and rushed, and the team looked largely disorganized for most of the first half. In the 38th it looked like they had an opportunity on the break when Renato Ibarra was played forward, but Matheus Dória played the body perfectly and Ibarra completely whiffed on his shot, allowing Carlos Acevedo to fall onto the ball and stop the danger.
Atlas had another good chance in the 41st when movement created some space in the box by Ignacio “Nacho” Malcorra, but Acevedo read it perfectly and made the stop look easy. Atlas maintained some decent pressure until the whistle blew to signify the end of the half.
Atlas continued on the front foot to start the second half, creating several chances early but ultimately not putting up anything that troubled Acevedo. Santos was content to concede possession and try and hit Atlas on the counterattack, which was an effective strategy.
The game got physical, with the teams committing fouls and picking up cards at a relatively brisk pace. Predictably, this didn’t translate into many good scoring opportunities for either team with play largely situated in the midfield. The best chance came in stoppage time when Milton Caraglio was played in past the Santos defense and fired a shot but Acevedo was there and made a fine save to preserve the clean sheet into stoppage. On the ensuing corner kick Acevedo came up huge again, making a save on the initial shot and then scrambling the rebound away far enough to allow it to be cleared. A minute later he was able to make another save to tip the ball over the bar.
But Atlas was ultimately given one too many chances and on another corner kick the ball pinged around in the box and barely crossed the line before being cleared out by Jesús Ocejo. Referee Fernando Hernández declined to go to VAR and Atlas got their first goal of the season and salvaged a draw at the last second.
¡Gooooooooool del @atlasfc! ⚽— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) February 7, 2021
Paren todo, se consiguió lo que parecía imposible. ¡Primer anotación de los rojinegros este torneo. ¡A lo Atlas!
1-1 #LateConFueria | #ModoGuerrero | #TusGuard1anes2021
Síguelo aquí https://t.co/4jJ1N6jfB6 pic.twitter.com/Kxds5Id2nb
Atlas heads to Pachuca to face Tuzos on Monday, February 15 while Santos will head home to host Rayados on Sunday, February 14.
Atlas: Camilo Vargas; Jesús Angulo, Anderson Santamaría, Hugo Nervo, Diego Barbosa; Ángel Márquez, Aldo Rocha, Jairo Torres (Luciano Acosta, 45’); Ignacio Malcorra, Milton Caraglio, Renato Ibarra (Javier Correa, 79’)
Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Ronaldo Prieto, Matheus Dória, Félix Torres, Emilio Orrantia; Alan Cervantes, Fernando Gorriarán, Juan Ferney Otero (Edgar Gamiz, 86’); Omar Campos (Jesús Isijara, 59’), Eduardo Aguirre (Santiago Muñoz, 59’), Ignacio Jeraldino (Jesús Ocejo, 59’)
Scoring: Atlas - Jonathan Herrera (90+3’); Santos Laguna - Omar Campos (9’)
Disciplinary: Atlas - Jesús Angulo (Yellow - 23’), Anderson Santamaría (Yellow - 61’), Ignacio Malcorra (Yellow - 77’); Santos Laguna - Félix Torres (Yellow - 32’), Alan Cervantes (Yellow - 57’), Jesús Isijara (Yellow - 66’)