Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Impulsora del Deportivo Necaxa S.A. de C.V.
Date: Sunday, January 23rd
Time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 12:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Referees: REF: Victor Alfonso Caceres Hernandez, AR1: Jose Ibrahim Martinez Chavarria, AR2: Leonardo Javier Castillo Rodríguez, 4TH: Jorge Abraham Camacho Peregrina, VAR: Oscar Macías Romo, AVAR: Leon Vicente Barajas Anzures
All-time record: Necaxa holds the all-time record across all competitions with 26 wins to Santos’ 23, while the clubs have drawn 19 times. They still hold the edge in Liga MX play, with 25 wins to Santos’ 21 and 19 draws. The other matches were in the Copa MX, with Santos wining two and losing one to Los Rayos. In their last meeting, Santos won 3-0 in Aguascalientes with goals from Juan Ferney Otero, Alberto Ocejo, and Diego Valdés. The last time the clubs met in Torreón, Santos won 3-1 on goals from Santiago Muñoz, Juan Ferney Otero, and Fernando Gorriarán, while the lone goal for Los Rayos was from Daniel López.
After a poor result on the road, Santos returns home to Torreón to face a struggling Necaxa side. Santos looked good during the first half of their match against Toluca, but wound up losing 3-1 on the back of several defensive mistakes. Pedro Caixinha’s team will need to move past that showing, and hosting Necaxa may be just what they needed.
Strange as it is to say, Santos has run hot and cold over the course of their two games so far. At times their defense has looked unbeatable, yet they let in three goals against Necaxa on defensive mistakes and couldn’t keep Tigres off of the board when it counted most. Similarly their offense looked very dangerous in both games but managed to score once in each, renewing criticisms of the offensive corps.
The good news is that Santos has been good at home and will be facing Necaxa, the team that entered the week at the bottom of the table. They’ve allowed six goals while scoring just one, an own goal committed by FC Juárez’ Ventura Alvarado in the first match of the season. Necaxa also allowed a four goal outburst by Monterrey in their home opener last week, although to be fair they were without goalkeeper Luis Malagón, who had been red carded in the Juárez match. He should return against Santos after having served his red card suspension.
Things are just as dire on the offensive side of the ball as well. Nicolás Castillo, the club’s big offensive signing of the offseason, has played just 56 of the 180 available minutes this season for Los Rayos. Similarly, Maxi Salas has also played just 45 minutes for Necaxa, leaving the bulk of the minutes at forward to Rodrigo Aguirre, who has two goals in Liga MX entering his third season.
Santos has a good opportunity against one of the weaker teams in the league. Necaxa is having all sorts of trouble at the moment, and a trip to Torreón is not usually conducive for teams looking to break out of a funk. Santos must be careful however to do a good job and pay attention to the details, minimizing poor decisions and passes to nowhere.