Santos got their first win at home of the season after taking advantage of Pumas’ mistakes to get a 3-2 victory. Interim Coach Eduardo Fentanes is two for two, after also getting a win against Cruz Azul on Sunday. Pumas took the lead and came back to tie, but both times immediately gave up a goal because of defensive mistakes. Santos will now travel to Guadalajara to face Chivas while Pumas returns home to face a Mazatlan team that has just fired their coach.
The first half started with Pumas coming out with the strike partnership of Juan Ignacio Dinenno and Jose Rogerio and without the suspended Diogo de Oliveira. They had Santiago Trigos making his first start for the injured Jeronimo Rodriguez. Santos came out with their best 11. Santos had a chance when a long ball was cleared by Pumas’ goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera right into the path of Harold Preciado, but his long range header toward the empty net went well wide. Pumas had a good chance when Rogerio got past a defender and got off a shot from outside the area that trickled just wide. A cross into the area was headed by Dinenno, but it too went just wide. Pumas had surprisingly taken control of the match, even while being the away team. Rogerio got off a right footed shot from outside in the area and hit the post. A minute later, Dinenno got off a left footed shot that forced Santos goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo to make a good save. Santos then got a good chance when Fernando Gorriaran hit a shot into the area, but Arturo Ortiz was able to clear it with a great save. Trigos then made a good move in the area and got off a right footed shot that forced Acevedo to make another save. Pumas came close again when Efrain Velarde got a left footed shot in the area, but it went just wide. Then off of a corner kick, Eduardo Aguirre and Matheus Doria would crash into each other trying to clear the ball and instead the ball fell right to Arturo Ortiz, who got a great header. The ball went over Acevedo’s head and into the net for the 1-0 lead for Pumas. It was a strange goal, but the strangeness wouldn’t end. A minute later, Santos got off a corner kick and Felix Torres rose to get a header that then hit Leonel Lopez in the head and went past Talavera for the 1-1 equalizer. Replays showed that Torres’ header would have gone well wide had Lopez not been out of position (he was so out of position, the ball hit him on the back of the head) and thus another strange goal had occurred in less that a minute. After that, Aguirre went in for a ball and Alan Mozo accidentally hit him in the face, and Aguirre ended up with a really bloody nose. The referee went to VAR and correctly judged it to have been an accident. Santos had a good chance when Leonardo Suarez got into the area, but his lob not only went over Talavera but also well wide. It was the last play of the half, as Santos finished the stronger team but the score remained tied as the first half ended.
The second half started with Pumas subbing out Efrain Velarde and Leonel Lopez for Juan Aguayo and Favio Alvarez. Pumas had a good opportunity when Washington Corozo got a cross in the area but Dinenno dove, sending his close range header wide. Then after a long ball, Gorriaran was brought down by Jose Galindo. The referee judged him to be the last player and that Gorriaran had a clear opportunity, and red carded Galindo. The referee however went to VAR when it was clear that Galindo wasn’t the last player on defense and Ortiz was in the area, and the red card was reversed. Pumas then got close when a shot by Corozo went just go wide. Santos subbed out Brian Lozano for Diego Medina. Suarez then had the time to get off a long range shot, but Talavera was able to easily save it. Pumas then subbed out Sebastian Saucedo for Omar Islas. After a cross into the area, Galindo cleared the ball in what would have been an easy save for Talavera. On the ensuing corner kick, there was a flick by a Santos player that looked to be handled by Trigos, and after going to VAR the referee gave a penalty kick. Fernando Gorriaran stepped up to take it and converted it with a right footed shot for the 2-1 lead. Pumas then had a chance when an Islas shot was saved by Acevedo. Then on the ensuing corner kick, Juan Igancio Dinenno got into the area and hit a wide open header past Acevedo for the 2-2 tie. Santos answered immediately however with a goal. A terrible mistake for Juan Aguayo allowed Suarez to get into the area and in front of the goalkeeper, passing it back to Harold Preciado to get a right footed shot past Talavera for the 3-2 lead for Santos. It was an incredible mistake from Aguayo, who had a terrible debut for Pumas. Pumas got good chance when Islas got a cross into the area that Dinenno volleyed but Acevedo saved. On the ensuing play with Pumas going for the goal the ball wound up in the net, but the ref ruled that Dinenno crashed into Acevedo before he got the ball into the net. Pumas subbed out Washington Corozo for Oliver Perez, while Santos subbed out Fernando Gorriaran and David Andrade for Beto Ocejo and Roni Prieto. After a couple of bounces, Alvarez got a good shot in the area but it would be deflected by Doria. It was the final chance and Santos held on for their first home win of the season.
Santos Laguna could not get a single league win in 2022 under Coach Pedro Caixinha but have now gotten two under Fentanes, meaning he upstaged Caixinha in record time. Santos look to have improved and although Pumas had the better start, Santos was able to make it an even game. More importantly however they were able to battle back immediately twice to score, something that was key in getting their momentum. On the other hand Pumas failed to handle things twice, not only doing a terrible job of managing the results but having both goals come off terrible mistakes that gifted Santos the goals. Pumas will need to improve fast at home since they have started to struggle in the league with this loss coming after two scoreless ties. Santos meanwhile will have a tough visit away to Chivas but with the momentum that seems to be carrying this team after a very bad start.