Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Fútbol Club Atlas
Date: Wednesday, August 18th
Time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 12:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Referees: REF: Fernando Guerrero Ramírez, AR1: Jose Ibrahim Martinez Chavarria, AR2: Mauricio Nieto Torres, 4TH: Oscar Mejia Garcia, VAR: José Alfredo Peñaloza Soto, AVAR: Juan Joel Rangel Maya
All-time record: Santos holds the all-time record across all competitions, winning 33 to Atlas’ 16 while the clubs have drawn 27 times. The clubs drew both their meeting in the 2003-04 Interliga and in the 2009-10 SuperLiga, with all other results being in Liga MX play. Their last meeting wound up a 1-1 draw at Estadio Jalisco on February 6, 2021 in Guadalajara thanks to Omar Campos and Jonathan Herrera scoring their first professional goals for Santos and Atlas respectively. Their last meeting in Torreón ended with a 0-0 draw back on August 16, 2020.
In the middle of a brutal stretch of their schedule, Santos (1-3-0) remains at home for their midweek match against Atlas (2-1-1). It’s their third game in twelve days, and they will need to head to Guanajuato to face León (3-0-1) on Saturday. Despite the grueling schedule, Santos are undefeated so far this season and have a relatively clean bill of health. Only Omar Campos and Ulíses Rívas are ruled out, with Alessio Da Cruz, Eduardo “Mudo” Aguiire, and Ayrton Preciado in doubt.
More good news is that Santos has been solid defensively this season, allowing just two goals in their four league games. Carlos Acevedo was named ot the Liga MX Team of the Week last week for another phenomenal performance against Chivas (1-2-1), making several saves and earning his second shutout of the season in Liga MX play. The offense however has struggled, although there’s been some glimpses of promise. Mudo Aguirre and Brian Lozano seem close to getting back into the selection, and that should provide just the offensive jump start the club could use.
Atlas come in under similar circumstances. They have allowed just goal on the season, but that goal lead to their lone loss against América (3-1-0) last weekend despite a red card leaving América short-handed for 20 minutes before they scored. Atlas has also only scored three goals in their four games, two of which came against lowly FC Juárez (0-2-2).
The good news is that this is marked progress over where Atlas was a few seasons ago. There seems to be a real structure taking shape and good players on the roster, which wasn’t always the case. Ex-Santos’ forward Julio Furch is their centerpiece, and he’s responsible for two of the club’s three goals this season. Atlas also added Julián Quiñones during the offseason, and Jonathan Herrera is a promising young player who has come up through Atlas’ famed academy system.
This should be a good match between two teams that are facing similar obstacles but should otherwise have good seasons. Both Santos and Atlas have encountered obstacles this season, but their promise should outweigh these fixable issues.