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Match recap: León 1, Santos Laguna 1

A wild ending to a wild game as León equalizes in the 103rd minute.

Leon v Santos Laguna - Torneo Apertura 2021 Liga MX Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images

An absolute classic of a match as two penalties have León and Santos Laguna end in a 1-1 draw after well over 100 minutes of play. Both teams started out looking to put it away early. León had the first good opportunity in the second minute but a good defensive play by Matheus Dória kept them from getting a shot off. Then in the seventh minute Santos drove in deep but Diego Valdés lost control of the ball and it went out over the end line. Then in the ninth minute Omar Fernández went in and hit a shot that rolled just wide of the far post. Neither team was at their sharpest to start, which was perhaps to be expected considering the considerable workload and travel the teams had undergone in recent weeks.

In the 12th minute León broke down field again and Ángel Mena hit a shot that Carlos Acevedo made a fantastic stop on, however even if Mena had beaten the goalkeeper it wouldn’t have counted since the play was whistled offside. in the 15th minute Jordan Carrillo created some space along the left and hit a nice cross into the box, but the resulting shot from Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre was lifted over the bar. Then in the 17th at the other end, a clearing attempt wound up at the foot of Elías Hernández, but despite being gifted time and space he rushed his shot and put it well over the bar.

Acevedo made another acrobatic save in the 29th to knock a free kick away. Then on the ensuing play, Dória came out of nowhere to clear a ball off of the line and Acevedo was able to stop the follow up shot. Then in the 36th Víctor Dávila played a ball that went wide of the far post and just missed the touch of a sliding player that would surely have knocked it in. Then at the other end in the 39th a corner kick hit Dávila’s arm, and after a VAR review a penalty was awarded to Santos. Diego Valdés stepped up and hit a shot but Rodolfo Cota guessed right and got a paw onto it, knocking it wide and out of danger but the referee ruled that Cota had come off of his line early and the kick was taken again. This time Fernando Gorriarán stepped up and hit a hard shot top shelf to give the guests the lead.

At the start of the second half it looked like Santos had scored when a Diego Valdés free kick was knocked in by Dória, but the AR had their flag raised and no goal was awarded. Video replays showed it was close but there was no stoppage for a VAR review. In the 57th José Ramírez hit a shot but it went over the bar. Then two minutes later Acevedo came off of his line to smother a ball with three León players coming in fast. Then in the 68th it looked like Santos would get another penalty when a ball looked to have hit off of the arm of a León defender, but the referee was having absolutely none of it and gave Diego Valdés a yellow card when he expressed his displeasure at the situation.

León kept pressuring, and Santos kept absorbing the pressure and looking for an opportunity to counterattack. In the 81st Santos had a great opportunity but a shot was cleared off of the line by William Tesillo and then a follow-up shot went wide of the far post. In the 86th Acevedo came up big again on a shot from the top of the box, turning it away and out of danger. In the fourth minute of stoppage León had a great chance when a ball from deep found Santiago Ormeño’s head, but his floating shot just missed looping into the corner of the net. Then in the 96th minute a flurry by León resulted in Jesse Zamudio’s shot smashing into the post and out before Acevedo eventually was able to corral the ball and stop play.

Then in the tenth minute the referee awarded a penalty when a ball hit Matheus Dória in the arm. After what seemed like an eternity as the referee and players discussed it and then a VAR review, the penalty was upheld. Ángel Mena stepped up and hit the equalizer in what was the final play of a wild, wild match.

León hosts América on Saturday, August 28th in the late game while Santos hosts FC Juárez on Sunday, August 29th in the penultimate match of the week.

León: Rodolfo Cota; Osvaldo Rodríguez, William Tesillo, Andrés Mosquera, José Ramírez; Omar Fernández (Santiago Ormeño, 71’), Iván Rodríguez (Jesse Zamudio, 83’), Santiago Colombatto, Elías Hernández (Jean Meneses, 62’); Ángel Mena, Víctor Dávila (Emmanuel Gigliotti, 63’)

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Omar Campos, Matheus Dória, Félix Torres, Ismael Govea; Fernando Gorriarán, Jordan Carrillo (Brian Lozano, 62’); Roni Prieto (Alan Cervantes, 76’), Diego Valdés, Juan Ferney Otero (Carlos Orrantia, 89’); Eduardo Aguirre (Alberto Ocejo, 76’)

Scoring: León - Ángel Mena (103’ - penalty); Santos Laguna - Fernando Gorriarán (43’ - penalty)

Disciplinary: León - Ángel Mena (Yellow - 18’), Santiago Colombatto (Yellow - 46’), Omar Fernández (Yellow - 54’), Iván Rodríguez (Yellow - 78’); Santos Laguna - Félix Torres (Yellow - 26’), Diego Valdés (Yellow - 68’)