Santos got a brace from Harold Preciado and goals from Fernando Gorriarán and Leo Suárez in a 4-0 rout of Tijuana. Preciado now has five goals in seven league appearances for Tijuana, while Carlos Acevedo and the defense picked up their second shutout of the season.
Santos started out the game keeping more of the possession, with Xolos sitting back and defending. Xolos also committed some early fouls in an attempt to set the tone of the match. Santos eventually started ceding possession, but got good plays from the likes of Jordan Carrillo, Alan Cervantes, and Fernando Gorriarán to win the ball back and mitigate most of the chances before they could develop into danger. Santos had the first shot at goal in the eighth minute, but Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre’s attempt went wide of the net. At the other end, Joaquin Montecinos redirected a cross in from Lucas Rodríguez, but despite catching Carlos Acevedo wrong-footed, it wound up on the outside of the net. Renato Ibarra had a try from inside of the box in the 20th minute, but Acevedo was there to make the save. Xolos kept pressuring, but Santos was able to remain resolute and keep the chances to a minimum. In the 25th, Harold Preciado mad a run down the left and hit a cross into the box that Mudo Aguirre raced to get to but the shot was deflected out for a corner. Santos then started getting extended time with the ball in their end, but not much came from it. Then in the 39th minute Gorriarán was fouled outside of the box. He took the free kick himself and hit a beautiful swerving, dipping shot into the top near corner of the net to give the hosts the lead.
Santos didn’t stop there though. In the 44th, Omar Campos hit a cross from the side of the box that Harold Preciado headed just wide. While Santos kept pushing, they weren’t able to come up with a second before the break and Santos went to the locker with a one goal lead.
The second half started with Tijuana committing a couple of handballs and fouls, some of which drew the attention of central referee Brian González. Neither side were terribly threatening on goal, with the best chance in the early part of the half coming off of a shot that Gorriarán didn’t get much on that rolled weakly on frame and was collected. Preciado had a decent chance in the 61st minute when he was played down the right, but his resulting shot went well wide of the far post. Santos kept pressuring and looking for the second, driving down the field several times and looking dangerous. One such run in the 68th minute resulted in a free kick, and Harold Preciado headed it in to double the lead. A quick check on VAR confirmed the goal was good despite the protestations of the Xolos defender who had fallen onto the turf.
Tijuana tried to mount a comeback ,but couldn’t really get much started. In the 78th Lucas Rodríguez got past the defenses and hit a shot, but it was rushed and he sent it well over the crossbar. In the 80th Edgar López had a header from close range that hit the top of the crossbar. It wouldn’t matter much however because in the 84th a good pass from Brian Lozano on the right almost found Mudo Aguirre, but Brayan Angulo’s sliding tackle prevented him from getting the ball. Unfortunately for Angulo, it went right to a wide open Leo Suárez for an easy shot in to the empty net.
Santos tacked on a fourth goal in stoppage time when “Huevo” Lozano hit a shot from distance that was saved, but the rebound went right to Preciado for his second goal of the night to pile on the misery.
Santos heads to Puebla for a match on Friday, March 18 while Tijuana returns home to host fellow border team FC Juárez on Sunday, March 20.
Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Omar Campos, Félix Torres, Hugo Rodríguez, Carlos Orrantia; Leo Suárez, Fernando Gorriarán (Diego Medina, 85’), Alan Cervantes (Edgar Games, 85’), Jordan Carrillo (Ulíses Rívas, 57’); Harold Preciado, Eduardo Aguirre (Brian Lozano, 57’)
Club Tijuana: Jonathan Orozco; Brayan Angulo, Eduardo Tercero, Lisandro López, Vladimir Loroña; Christian Rivero (César Castillo, 86’), José Juan Vázquez (Edgar López, 58’), Marcel Ruiz; Lucas Rodríguez, Joaquín Montecinos, Renato Ibarra (Misael Domínguez, 58’)
Scoring: Santos Laguna - Fernando Gorriarán (40’), Harold Preciado (69’, 90+2), Leo Suárez (84’); Club Tijuana - None
Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Eduardo Aguirre (Yellow - 14’), Diego Medina (Yellow - 87’), Harold Preciado (Yellow - 90+4’); Club Tijuana - Christian Rivero (Yellow - 67’), Lisandro López (Yellow - 90+4’)