Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Club Puebla
Date: Sunday, September 19th
Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Referees: REF: César Arturo Ramos Palazuelos, AR1: Andres Hernández Delgado, AR2: Michel Ricardo Espinoza Avalos, 4TH: Mario Humberto Vargas Mata, VAR: Marco Antonio Ortiz Nava, AVAR: Oscar Mejia Garcia
All-time record: Santos holds the all time record across all competitions, winning 28 to Puebla’s 16 with 23 draws. The only time the clubs have met outside of Liga MX play was a wild win by Santos in the 2014 Apertura Copa MX Final in penalties. The last time the clubs met, Puebla beat Santos 1-0 in the second leg of the 2021 Clausura semifinals but lost the first leg 3-0 in Torreón to lose the series on aggregate. The last time they played during the regular season, they drew 0-0 at TSM back on May 2, 2021.
It’s been a rough week for Santos Laguna, who lost their first Liga MX match to Club Tijuana last Friday before losing again to the Seattle Sounders in the Leagues Cup Semifinal round on Tuesday. The good news is that the losses were on the road, and they’re returning to the fortress TSM for a Sunday night match against Puebla.
And there’s more good news for Santos, as Omar Campos renewed his contract until 2025, Brian Lozano and Fernando Gorriarán were called into the Uruguayan National Team, and goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo should be back from an injured shoulder within the next couple of weeks.
But the task at hand remains Puebla, and Santos will be hosting them on short rest and having flown back from Seattle, a seven hour journey under the best of circumstances. Puebla have struggled this season, but are unbeaten in their last two after beating Pumas 1-0 and then drawing Atlético de San Luis 2-2.
The time is now for Puebla though. They’re on the outside looking in on even the repechaje race, starting the week in 14th place. The sophomore slump has seemingly hit manager Nicolás Larcamon, who took Puebla to the semifinals during the last tournament. While Puebla has good players like Christian Tabó and Fernando Aristeguieta, their offense has scored just six goals on the season while the defense has conceded eleven.
Both teams need all three points; Santos to get back into the Liguilla conversation and Puebla to get into the repechaje conversation. While both have issues they’re currently working on, Santos’ home field advantage should not be discounted and as always should give them an edge heading into the match.