Santos took an early lead and thoroughly dismantled Tigres, who was down a player after 34 minutes. But the second half belonged to Tigres, and at the end of the match Santos was lucky to leave El Volcán with a point at the end of a 1-1 draw.
Santos looked up for it from the opening whistle when they stole the ball on the back pass and tried a shot that went well high and wide. Santos kept pressuring Tigres, forcing them into poor turnovers in bad situations. In the seventh minute Juan Ferney Otero hit a rocket off of the post that fell to the feet of Fernando Gorriarán. “Gorri” wasted no time and smashed the ball into the back of the net from 20 yards out.
⚽ ¡Goool de @ClubSantos!— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) August 8, 2021
⚽ ¡Goool de @ClubSantos!
⚽ ¡Goool de @ClubSantos!
Golazo de Fernando Gorriarán. Le pegó con furia a la pelota. Imposible para Nahuel
¡En vivo! https://t.co/01QzRU482u #GritaMexicoA21 | #TuApertura2021 | #VeranoDeCampeones pic.twitter.com/qfE3CYGm8W
Santos didn’t rest on their laurels. They kept pressing a clearly disjointed Tigres team, forcing more turnovers and creating more chances. Santos won a free kick in the 16th minute about 20 yards out but Diego Valdés’ shot hooked just wide of the net. To minutes later Valdés lofted a ball into the box that Alberto Ocejo headed just over the bar. Then in the 19th minute Jordan Carrillo and Diego Valdés combined on a run into the box but Valdés skied the shot at the wide open net.
Tigres meanwhile struggled mightily to gain any sort of momentum. They gave up chances on the counterattack and committed fouls in bad positions. In the 32nd minute Florian Thauvin committed a gruesome challenge on Omar Campos down along the side of the box. Initially a yellow card, the foul was reviewed using VAR and Thauvin’s yellow changed to a red and Campos would be carted off of the pitch, subbed out for David Andrade.
Santos had another chance in the 42nd minute but only a good save from Nahuel “Patón” Guzmán kept the ball out of the back of the net. Tigres got ever more frustrated, with Nicolás “El Diente” López picking up a yellow card for a violent kick to the back of the leg of Andrade, forcing him to be carried off of the pitch. After six minutes of stoppage, the first half drew to a close and the teams went back to the lockers to a serenade of boos from the crowd.
To start the second half, Santos played from the same playbook as they did in the first. They harried Tigres into turnovers, and in the 48th one lead to a Fernando Gorriarán shot that Patón Guzmán made a nice save on. Tigres however started taking the game to Santos. Tigres had a nice chance in the 53rd when Juan Pablo Vigon hit a shot that Carlos Acevedo made a diving stop on. Carlos González got a free header in the 56th minute, Santos had a great chance in the 65th minute when Diego Valdés threaded a pass to spring Alberto Ocejo in on goal. A good defensive play by Tigres hit the ball back, but straight into the path of Roni Prieto, who hit a rocket that smashed off of the crossbar. Then in the 68th Guzmán made a fantastic diving stop on a free kick from Juan Ferney Otero.
Santos had regained control of the momentum of the match, and were able to retain possession and keep the ball in the Tigres end of the pitch, cycling the ball along the flanks looking for opportunities while Tigres hung on. Tigres got a good chance in the 77th on a ball in to Vigon, who redirected it but Acevedo was able to stop it. Then the referee went to VAR and reviewed the preceding series of events but found nothing untoward had happened and play continued on. Tigres kept pushing and fighting and in the 89th minute Leo Fernández was able to dribble into and then out of trouble, hitting a pass to a wide open Carlos Salcedo, who shot into the corner of the net.
After play resumed Fernández had a good chance that just missed the net wide. And despite being down a player, Tigres looked the better side and forced Santos to hang on until the final whistle blew to end the match.
Tigres heads to Seattle to face the Seattle Sounders on Tuesday, August 10 in Leagues Cup competition before going on to Puebla to face La Franja on Friday, August 13 in Liga MX play. Santos will go to Orlando to face Orlando City SC on Thursday, August 12 in Leagues Cup play before heading home to Torreón to host Chivas on Sunday, August 15.
Tigres UANL: Nahuel Guzmán; Francisco Venegas(Leo Fernández, 52’), Carlos Salcedo, Diego Reyes, Luis Rodríguez (Raymundo Fulgencio, 85’); Javier Aquino, Juan Pablo Vigon, Rafael Carioca (David Ayala, 85’), Florian Thauvin; Carlos González, Nicolás López (Luis Quiñones, 45’)
Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Omar Campos (David Andrade, 39’), Matheus Dória, Félix Torres, Carlos Orrantia; Roni Prieto, Fernando Gorriarán; Juan Ferney Otero (Jesús Isijara, 80’), Diego Valdés, Jordan Carrillo (Andrés Ibargüen, 58’); Alberto Ocejo
Scoring: Tigres UANL - Carlos Salcedo (88’); Santos Laguna - Fernando Gorriarán (7’)
Disciplinary: Tigres UANL - Florian Thauvin (Red - 34’), Nicolás López (Yellow - 45’); Santos Laguna - Félix Torres (Yellow - 25’), David Andrade (Yellow - 45+2’), Alberto Ocejo (Yellow - 50’), Guillermo Almada (Yellow - 51’)