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Match recap: Club Tijuana 0, Santos Laguna 1

Santos picks up their first win on the road while Xolos drop their fourth in five.

Club Tijuana v Santos Laguna - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX Photo by Francisco Vega/Getty Images

It wasn’t either team’s best game, but Santos was able to hang on and get their first win on the road while Tijuana has lost four of their last five. Carlos Acevedo and the defense picked up their fifth clean sheet of the season, and center back Félix Torres got his first goal of the season as Santos hops into third place - at least until the Toluca - Pachuca concludes.

Santos started out applying pressure early trying to keep Xolos off-balance, however it was Tijuana with the first chance of the match when Fabián Castillo hit a shot that didn’t miss the post by more than a foot. In the ninth minute, David Barbona teed up a shot from about 35 yards out but Carlos Acevedo saw it the entire way and made the save easily. Then in the 11th minute Acevedo made a great diving save to push a header from Mauro Manotas wide. IN the 19th minute, Félix Torres had a header in the box that Jonathan Orozco made a good save on to force a corner kick. Off of the resulting corner, the ball was crossed back into the box and this time Torres didn’t miss, knocking one in off of the underside of the crossbar.

Santos kept the pressure on but eventually Xolos made their way back down the field. Manotas had a shot from distance that missed the mark in the 26th, and Castillo had another shot in the 28th that Acevedo made a routine save on. In the 36th it was Fidel Martínez who saw a header fly wide of the net. Then as the clock went into stoppage, Acevedo came off of his line to make a magnificent sliding save on an onrushing Manotas.

Santos started the second half with a great chance when Juan Ferney Otero made a run down the right, hitting a cutback pass in to a relatively open Jesús Ocejo. Ocejo rushed his shot however, and it went well over the crossbar. In the 48th minute, Fabián Castillo had a look from inside the box but he too sent his shot well high.

The game then started to slow down some as legs got heavier and fouls became more and more common. Because of this, neither team had any rhythm to speak of, and chances were few and far between. Carlos Acevedo made a fantastic save in the 79th minute to preserve the clean sheet, while at the other end Carlos Orrantia was able to break past the Xolos line as the game went into stoppage, but he mis-hit his shot and it rolled harmlessly into the goalkeeper.

Tijuana’s next match is on Saturday, March 20 when they host Gallos Blancos de Querétaro, while Santos’ next match is on Sunday, March 21 when they host León.

Club Tijuana: Jonathan Orozco; Brayan Angulo, Gonzalo Jara, Víctor Guzmán, Vladimir Loroña (Jaime Gómez, 65’); Junior Sornoza (Gerson Vázquez, 71’), Christian Rivera, David Barbona; Fabián Castillo Edgar López, 65’), Mauro Manotas (Jordi Cortizo, 71’), Fídel Martínez (Miguel Sansores, 82’)

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Ismael Govea, Félix Torres, Matheus Dória, Alan Cervantes; Juan Ferney Otero (Carlos Orrantia, 80’), Fernando Gorriarán, David Andrade, Andrés Ibargüen (Omar Campos, 72’); Jesús Ocejo (Eduardo Aguirre, 61’), Santiago Muñoz (Ignacio Jeraldino, 80’)

Scoring: Club Tijuana - None; Santos Laguna - Félix Torres (20’)

Disciplinary: Club Tijuana - Gonzalo Jara (Red - 90+2’); Santos Laguna - David Andrade (Yellow - 49’), Darwin Quintana (Yellow - 86’)