It was a tale of two halves, as Atlas was the dominant team of the first half and took the lead before Santos Laguna came roaring back in the second half to get a draw and almost pick up the win. Julián Quiñones scored the goal for Atlas, while Félix Torres got the equalizer for the hosts.
Atlas got the first chance of the game, with Julián Quiñones hitting a shot before the first minute of play had elapsed that went just high over the bar. Then in the fourth minute Santos had trouble clearing a ball out of the box and Atlas was able to get it to Jairo Torres, but his shot missed the mark by quite a bit. Santos were back on their heels, but over time were able to start getting some possession and making forays into the offensive zone.
In the 14th Quiñones was able to break downfield, but Carlos Acevedo came off of his line and was able to take the ball off of Quiñones’ foot. Then in the 19th minute, Juan Ferney Otero drove down the left, lost his mark, and fired a shot that Camilo Vargas parried away, but Roni Prieto was able to get to it and fire a shot that was deflected out. Then in the 24th Atlas came down the field, with Quiñones the trailing runner on the left. He was left wide open, got the ball, and hit a shot into the top of the net to give the visitors the lead.
Santos almost drew level in the 34th when Carlos Orrantia hit a shot from distance that just sliced wide of the goal. Atlas however was still the much better side, creating chances and keeping much of the possession down in their end and preventing Santos from gaining any momentum. Atlas looked well in control of the match as the teams went into the locker rooms for halftime, and the crowd at TSM voiced their displeasure.
Santos came out with a totally different look, subbing out Hugo Rodríguez, Alan Cervantes, and Andrés Ávila for Jordan Carrillo, Fernando Gorriarán, and Diego Valdés. This put them back into their more familiar 4-2-3-1 formation, and gave them the offensive options they were so sorely missing in the first half. It paid immediate dividends, as Santos were the much more aggressive team, keeping possession in the Atlas end and creating chances.
Atlas however weren’t going to just sit there. In the 56th, Acevedo made a fantastic diving stop on a free kick, tipping it into the cross bar. The ball however fell to Julián Quiñones, who shot and it was either tipped by the sitting Acevedo or struck the post just above him, ricocheting out of harm’s way.
There was perhaps a bit of controversy in the 63rd when Julián Quiñones drove down the field and was tackled in the box by Félix Torres. Quiñones went down, but referee Fernando Guerrero was not awarding a penalty, despite Quiñones’ protestations. In the 68th Diego Valdés made a nice move inside of the box and won a corner kick for Santos. On the ensuing set piece Valdés got a header into the box where Félix Torres put his head onto it, beating Vargas to draw the sides level.
Then in the 71st Dória hit a long-range blast that Vargas stopped. Andrés Ibargüen got to the rebound, but his diving header went just wide of the net. Then in the 86th minute Santos were awarded a free kick deep. Ignacio Jeraldino was able to head the ball in, but after a VAR review the play was ruled offside. Santos kept pressing, but couldn’t break through again and the match ended in a draw.
Santos will head to León to face La Fiera on Saturday, August 21 while Atlas return home to Guadalajara to host Toluca, also on Saturday, August 21.
Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; David Andrade, Matheus Dória, Félix Torres, Hugo Rodríguez (Jordan Carrillo, 45’), Carlos Orrantia; Alan Cervantes (Fernando Gorriarán, 45’), Roni Prieto (Ignacio Jeraldino, 76’), Juan Ferney Otero; Andrés Ávila (Diego Valdés, 45’) , Alberto Ocejo (Andrés Ibargüen, 60’)
Atlas: Camilo Vargas; Luis Reyes, Jesús Angulo (Franco Troyansky, 84’), Martín Nervo, Anderson Santamaría, Diego Barbosa; Jeremy Márquez, Aldo Rocha, Jairo Torres; Julián Quiñones (Jonathan Herrera, 65’), Julio Furch (Edgar Zaldivar, 72’)
Scoring: Santos Laguna - Félix Torres (68’); Atlas - Julián Quiñones (24’)
Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - None; Atlas - None