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Match preview: Mazatlán FC vs. Santos Laguna

A short turnaround for Santos as they head to Mazatlán to face Los Cañoneros.

Aerial view of Kraken stadium prior the 13th round match between Mazatlan FC and Cruz Azul as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX at Kraken Stadium on April 08, 2022 in Mazatlan, Mexico. Photo by Sergio Mejia/Getty Images

Game: Mazatlán Fútbol Club vs. Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.

Date: Tuesday, April 20th

Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio de Mazatlán (Mazatlán, Sin.)

Referees: REF: Fernando Hernandez Gomez, AR1: Enríque Isaac Bustos Díaz, AR2: César Arturo Cerritos García, 4TH: Vicente Jassiel Reynoso Arce, VAR: Luis Enrique Santander Aguirre, AVAR: Daniel Quintero Huitrón

Television: United States - None; Mexico - ESPN2, Azteca 7

Streaming: ViX (Available in the Americas free)

All-time record: Santos and Mazatlán have met three times before, with Santos winning both games in Torreón including the last one 1-0 on October 2, 2021 thanks to Brian Lozano converting a penalty. The teams have only played in Mazatlán once before, ending in a 0-0 draw on January 22, 2021.

They did face Mazatlán’s predecessors Monarcas Morelia a number of times. Monarcas held the slight edge all time with 22 wins to Santos’ 21, and the clubs had 17 draws between them. The only time the clubs met outside of Liga MX play was in the 2003-2004 Interliga when Monarcas won 3-2 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Eduardo Aguirre of Santos gestures during the 12th round match between Santos Laguna and Pachuca as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on April 3, 2022 in Torreon, Mexico.
Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre has just one goal in nine games, but poses a constant threat to opposing defenses.
Photo by Armando Marin/Jam Media/Getty Images

Just three days after a thrilling match that saw Santos get a goal in the dying moments to salvage a tie at home, they head on the road to face a struggling Mazatlán. Santos currently sits just a point out of the repechaje, and if everything lines up they could be as high as eighth at the end of the week. They’ve been playing well lately, although looked a bit vulnerable in the match against Querétaro.

Querétaro was able to keep Santos from completing the final pass out of the midfield to the forwards, and on the occasion the pass was completed, Harold Preciado was locked down well by the defense. Santos dropped Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre to the bench in favor of Fernando Gorriarán, and adding a rested Aguirre back in with Preciado might help recapture some of that offensive spark.

Gonzalo Sosa (C) celebrates with teammates Roberto Meraz and Miguel Sansores after scoring the first goal of his team during the 2nd round match between Mazatlan FC and America as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX at Kraken Stadium on February 16, 2022 in Mazatlan, Mexico.
Gonzalo Sosa, Roberto Meráz, and Miguel Sansores are all co-leaders with three goals each for Mazatlán.
Photo by Sergio Mejia/Getty Images

Mazatlán sit in the second-to-last place on the table, but drew Cruz Azul at home two weeks ago before defeating Atlas 2-1 in Guadalajara on Thursday. They’ve also had two more days rest than Santos and will play at home, which may factor into the results against Santos.

Mazatlán are also toward the bottom of the league both in terms of goals scored with 15, and in goals conceded with 23. Mazatlán has three players who have scored three goals each, with Miguel Sansores, Gonzalo Sosa, and Roberto Meráz co-leading the team. While three goals means being a part of an eighteen-way-tie for twenty-first place, it also means there isn’t just one player to focus on to stop the attack.

Santos will need to play a better game than they did against Querétaro in order to get a result. Mazatlán have shown they’re capable of holding their own against the top teams in the league, and Santos can’t show up flat like they did last week or in their last away match where they lost to Monterrey. They’ll need to start strong and push for the first goal, or else it could be a long match and an even longer road into the repechaje.