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Match recap: Santos Laguna 1, Monterrey 2

Rayados hand Santos just their fourth regular season loss at TSM since 2017 on a late goal from Duván Vergara.

Santos Laguna v Monterrey - Torneo Apertura 2021 Liga MX Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

It wasn’t a pretty match, as both Santos Laguna and Monterrey struggled to create for long stretches of the game, but at the end it was a momentary lapse of concentration that saw Monterrey’s super sub Duván Vergara come in and snatch all three points for Rayados.

The match started off like most rivalry matches, with plenty of gamesmanship. In the second minute of play, Matheus Dória was going to chase down a ball and got tangled up with Maximiliano Meza. As they were falling, Dória caught a cleat to the stomach and he proceeded to dump Meza into the drainage area surrounding the pitch at TSM. In the eighth minute, Rogelio Funes Mori broke through the Santos defense and looked to have scored, but was rightfully called offside. In the 10th minute a ball from deep looked to spring Meza, but Gibran Lajud came off of his line and stopped the shot, resulting in a hard collision between the players.

Santos had a good chance in the 14th minute when a cross was whipped in for Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre, but his touch saw the ball skid just wide of the net. Santos did well to move the ball and create chances, while Rayados were the team sitting back and hoping to counter for a good portion of the half. In the 21st Monterrey had just a counter, and Meza was played in on goal but Lajud again came up big, making a sliding save to absorb the impact of the ball and send it out of danger.

Santos had a great opportunity in the 38th minute when Omar Campos was fouled just outside of the box on the left side. Brian “Huevo” Lozano hit a beautiful free kick that hit the crossbar flush and bounced out of danger. At the end of the half, Santos assistant Darwin Quintero and Rayados assistant Hugo Castillo got into a shouting match along the sidelines and were each shown a red card.

The second half started off seemingly like a replay of the first, with Monterrey coming down the field and Alfonso “Ponchito” González scoring from what was initially rules an offside position, however this time after a VAR review it was ruled onside and the goal stood.

Santos wasted no time trying to get an equalizer. In the 51st minute it was Alessio Da Cruz with a shot in the box that Andrada was able to get to. A minute later Mudo Aguirre looked to have caught Andrada too far off of his line and tried a shot from beyond midfield, but it went over the bar. In the 57th minute Jonathan Díaz went down on his own, holding his left thigh. Díaz was subbed out for Alan Cervantes, although Díaz was able to make it off of the pitch under his own power.

In the 60th it looked like Monterrey had scored again when Funes Mori was played in over the top and lobbed one into the back of the net, but again a Rayados goal was nullified because it was offside. Santos kept the pressure up however, keeping the majority of the play in the Monterrey end. In the 69th it looked like Santos had broken through when Alessio Da Cruz hit a cross that went past everyone and onto the foot of a Santos attacker, and while Andrada got to the ball, it wasn’t clear if it had crossed the line or not. It wouldn’t matter however since Da Cruz was offside. Then in the 72nd a clear handball in the box by Funes Mori wasn’t called and no VAR review was given. A minute later a penalty was given when Mudo Aguirre was brought down in the box by Moreno. Brian Lozano stepped up and hit it hard into the corner to draw the sides level.

At the other end Maxi Meza hit a nice cross that went over everyone and found the foot of29 but his shot went across the goal mouth and out of danger. In the 83rd Juan Ferney Otero hit a rocket that Andrada pushed aside for a corner kick. In the 85th it was Roni Prieto hitting a shot from distance that was deflected out. In the 92nd minute Funes Mori had an opportunity to get the game winner when he was left all alone at the top of the box, but when he was played the ball his shot was a bit rushed and went well over the crossbar and into the stands. In the 93rd however It was Duván Vergara who actually put Rayados up when he was left unattended in the box, knocking a header past Lajud for the game winner.

Santos’ next match is a Week 12 game on Saturday, October 2 when they host Mazatlán FC, as their Week 11 match against Pumas won’t be played until November 4. Monterrey’s Week 11 match was this past Wednesday when they beat Toluca 2-0. Their next match will be the Week 12 game at FC Juárez on Friday. October 1.

Santos Laguna: Gibran Lajud; Jonathan Díaz (Alan Cervantes, 58’), Matheus Dória, Félix Torres, Omar Campos; Jordan Carrillo (Juan Ferney Otero, 65’), Fernando Gorriarán; Alessio Da Cruz, Diego Valdés (Roni Prieto, 79’), Brian Lozano (Ignacio Jeraldino, 79’); Eduardo Aguirre (Alberto Ocejo, 79’)

Monterrey: Esteban Andrada; Sebastián Vegas (Duván Vergara, 82’), Héctor Moreno, César Montes, Stefan Medina; Alfonso González (José Alvarado, 69’), Matías Kranevitter, Carlos Rodríguez; Jesús Gallardo, Rogelio Funes Mori, Maximiliano Meza

Scoring: Santos Laguna - Brian Lozano (74’ - penalty); Monterrey - Alfonso González (47’)

Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Brian Lozano (Yellow - 31’), Guillermo Almada (Yellow - 31’), Darwin Quintana (Yellow - 31’, Red- 45’), Matheus Dória (Yellow - 62’); Monterrey - Hugo Castillo (Red - 45’), Esteban Andrada (45+2’), Héctor Moreno (Yellow - 63’), Maximiliano Meza (Yellow - 71’)