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Match recap: Mazatlán FC 1, Santos Laguna 0

Santos’ playoff hopes take a hit from a tough loss to Mazatlán at El Kraken.

Gonzalo Sosa of Mazatlan celebrates the first goal of the match during the 15th round match between Mazatlan FC and Santos Laguna as part of te Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX at Kraken Stadium on April 19, 2022 in Mazatlan, Mexico. Photo by Sergio Mejia/Getty Images

After the slow start to the season, Santos needed to make every game count in order to make the playoffs. They suffered a considerable set back with a 1-0 loss at Mazatlán, losing center back Félix Torres in the process to a red card. With just two games left, Santos will need to win at least one and get help from other teams in order to lift themselves into twelfth place and into the repechaje. The win also keeps Mazatlán’s slim playoff hopes alive, but they too will need a combination of wins and good fortune in order to play in May.

Santos did well to pressure Mazatlán anytime they had the ball, hoping to create mistakes from the home team. They succeeded in the second minute of the match when a hurried pass was intercepted by Fernando Gorriarán, who played a nice through ball up to Harold Preciado. Preciado was well defended however, and his resulting shot lacked much power and was easily stopped by Nicolás Vikonis. Leo Suárez had a shot from distance in the eighth minute that went just wide of the net. In the 16th minute, Mazatlán got their first shot, a close range chance that Carlos Acevedo made short work of. In the 18th minute they had another chance when off of a corner kick Santos couldn’t quite clear the ball. It fell to a wide open Gonzalo Sosa, but he one-timed his shot well wide of the net. A minute later Acevedo had to punch a shot out, as Mazatlán had finally found their footing.

Santos eventually wrested control of the match though and in the 25th minute Suárez sent a shot in that went just wide of the net. The flow of the game was pretty back-and-forth, Harold Preciado hit a shot from distance in the 33rd that Vikonis made a diving save to stop. A minute later, Brian “Huevo” Lozano hit a shot that took a couple of deflections and clearly caught Vikonis off guard, however it went wide of the net for a corner. On the ensuing corner kick, Matheus Dória headed the ball on frame and Vikonis made a good diving stop on it, just getting a toe on it after having committed to the wrong side. It proved to be huge, because in the 37th minute Gonzalo Sosa was played in on goal off of a set piece throw in and rifled a shot past Acevedo to give the home side the lead.

Unfortunately Sosa was subbed out shortly after the goal with an apparent injury. Mazatlán had another good chance in the 42nd when a pass from Marco Fabián went whizzing through the box but no one was there to connect with it.

In the second half, Santos started out with much more possession and playing well. Matheus Dória had a shot from distance that Vikonis did well to hang on to. Leo Suárez had a look from distance in the 51st minute that went just wide. It was his last play of the match, being subbed out for Diego Medina before the ball was put back into play. In the 59th minute, Félix Torres was shown a yellow card for a foul on Brian Rubio. Referee Fernando Hernández took a moment and reviewed it in the VAR booth, and determined it was a red card.

Mazatlán held the advantage, but Santos was able to create chances nevertheless. In the 70th minute, Fernando Gorriarán made a nice run down the left and sent a cross into the box, but Jordan Carrillo’s header went just wide of the net. In the 77th minute Iván Moreno had a look but Acevedo did well to snuff out that chance. In the 80th Santos had a chance when Preciado flicked on a ball in on net, but Vikonis somehow kept it out with a touch mere inches from the line. In the 87th Dória ripped a shot from distance that sliced wide of the net. Dória had another chance a minute later when Beto Ocejo lifted a ball up and over the defense, but he couldn’t quite reach it and Vikonis easily grabbed it. Acevedo made a fantastic diving stop deep in stoppage time to keep his team in it, but it wasn’t enough and Mazatlán picked up all three points on the evening.

Mazatlán heads to the borderlands to face Juárez on Friday, April 22 while Santos returns home to host León on Sunday, April 24.

Mazatlán FC: Nicolás Vikonis; Oswaldo Alanís, Nicolás Díaz, Néstor Vidrio, Jorge Padilla (Bryan Colula, 81’); Marco Fabián (Eduardo Bello, 81’), Roberto Meráz (Alfonso Sánchez, 81’), Jefferson Intriago, Andrés Montaño (Iván Moreno, 66’); Gonzalo Sosa (Brian Rubio, 43’), Nicolás Benedetti

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; David Andrade, Félix Torres, Matheus Dória, Carlos Orrantia (Andrés Ávila, 77’); Brian Lozano (Hugo Rodríguez, 64’), Fernando Gorriarán (Beto Ocejo, 77’), Alan Cervantes, Leo Suárez (Diego Medina, 49’); Harold Preciado, Eduardo Aguirre (Jordan Carrillo, 64’)

Scoring: Mazatlán FC - Gonzalo Sosa (37’); Santos Laguna - None

Disciplinary: Mazatlán FC - Jorge Padilla (Yellow - 70’), Nicolás Díaz (Yellow - 87’), Brian Rubio (Yellow - 90+1’); Santos Laguna - Félix Torres (Red- 59’), Brian Lozano (Yellow - 63’), Matheus Dória (Yellow - 88’), Harold Preciado (Yellow - 90+1’)