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Match recap: Santos Laguna 0, Puebla F.C. 0

A scoreless draw sees Puebla head straight to the Liguilla while Santos must play in the repechaje.

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

Santos Laguna needed a win against Puebla in order to make the Liguilla and avoid the repechaje. Puebla did everything that they could in order to avoid that, and ultimately the sides wound up in a 0-0 draw.

In the third minute Santos had a golden opportunity on a Fernando Gorriarán free kick. Matheus Dória headed the ball off of the crossbar and it went almost straight down but didn’t cross the line. Then defender Félix Torres came in and kicked the ball but hit it off of the crossbar a second time before it was finally cleared out by Juan Segovia. The game was very physical, with the medical staff making frequent trips out to the pitch to tend to the injured. In the 12th minute Santos had a fantastic chance when Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre was played in on a great ball from Fernando Gorriarán but Antony Silva made a fantastic stop. The rebound went to Santiago Muñoz, but his shot was blocked out for a corner kick.

Puebla had a decent chance in the 16th minute when a corner kick went into the mixer and was knocked on frame but Carlos Acevedo easily scooped it up to remove the danger. Acevedo made another great save in the 32nd minute on a shot from distance. In the 42nd, Omar Campos made a nice move in from the left flank and hit a curling shot that just missed the top corner at the far post. Campos had a shot from distance on a rebound in the second minute of stoppage that went just high over the bar. The first half ended as it started, albeit with a few players (and Puebla manager Nicolás Larcamón) in the book.

To start the second half, Puebla started out looking more threatening on the offensive side of the ball. In the 50th minute, Israel Reyes hit a shot from distance that just missed high. In the 53rd Puebla got a good header from Juan Segovia off of a free kick that Acevedo was able to swat away. In the 58th minute Santos had a good chance when “Mudo” Aguirre was played in on goal and got a shot, but it went just wide. Gorriarán had a nice look at goal in the 61st but his shot went just wide of the post. In the 67th minute Juan Ferney Otero had a good chance but his shot went straight into the chest of Antony Silva. Santos, sensing the urgency, started pushing more players forward. In the 75th, Andrés Ibargüen was able to get a shot on frame but Silva was there. In the 78th, Campos sent a shot along the turf just wide of the net.

Santos kept pressuring and Puebla kept stalling for time, practicing the dark arts of time wasting and embellishment. Gustavo Ferrareis of Puebla was sent off in stoppage for kicking a ball away from Diego Valdés as he attempted a free kick restart. Ultimately Santos wasn’t able to break through and wound up with a 0-0 draw. Santos will face either Querétaro or Pumas in the repechaje while Puebla goes straight into the Liguilla.

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Omar Campos, Matheus Dória, Félix Torres, Carlos Orrantia (Jesús Ocejo, 77’); Juan Ferney Otero, Fernando Gorriarán, Alan Cervantes, Ayrton Preciado (Andrés Ibargüen, 61’); Santiago Muñoz (Diego Valdés, 61’), Eduardo Aguirre (Ignacio Jeraldino, 80’)

Puebla F.C.: Antony Silva; Juan Segovia, Maximiliano Perg, Israel Reyes; Salvador Reyes, Omar Fernández (Amaury Escoto, 70’), Diego de Buen (Emanuel Gularte, 45’), George Corral (Jesús Paganoni, 86’); Maximiliano Araújo (Gustavo Ferrareis, 70’), Christian Tabó (Daniel Álvarez, 70’), Daniel Aguilar

Scoring: Santos Laguna - None; Puebla F.C. - None

Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Félix Torres (Yellow - 17’); Puebla F.C. - Maximiliano Perg (Yellow - 20’), Diego De Buen (Yellow - 29’), Nicolás Larcamón (Yellow - 38’), Gustavo Ferrareis (Yellow - 80’, Second Yellow - 90+2’), Amaury Escoto (Yellow - 88’)