clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Match recap: Toluca 2, Santos Laguna 1

A good first half from Toluca saw Los Diablos Rojos hold on a strong second-half showing from Santos at Estadio Nemesio Díez.

Jair Gonzalez (L) of Santos fights for the ball with Jean Meneses (R) of Toluca during the 4th round match between Toluca and Santos Laguna as part of the Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX at Nemesio Diez Stadium on July 23, 2022 in Toluca, Mexico. Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Toluca took advantage of a poor first half showing by Santos Laguna, holding off the visitors in the second half to secure their third win in four games. Santos played much better in the second half but couldn’t get the tying goal, losing 2-1 at Estadio Nemesio Díez.

Toluca did well to keep possession and move the ball, favoring lateral movement over going straight into the teeth of Santos’ defense. They were however fairly successful early on on getting into the Santos end, while Santos struggled to get anything at all going forward. In the seventh minute Santos allowed a rush in on goal. Fer Navarro tried kicking a ball out of midair, but Hugo Rodríguez got to it first, and on the follow-through caught Navarro’s foot and a penalty was awarded. No VAR review was conducted on the field, and Leo Fernández converted from the spot.

Toluca kept the pressure on Santos, pinning them in their own end for a bit after the goal. In the 15th minute, Jean Menenses hit a low shot that Carlos Acevedo made a brilliant save on conceding a corner kick. In the 22nd Toluca got a breakaway and Menenses had another shot that Acevedo did well to stop. Camilo Sanvezzo did well go get to the rebound, but put it well over the bar and into the seats. Two minutes later Toluca carved open Santos’ defense again with a great through ball to Menenses. Acevedo came out to cut down the angle, and Menenses slid the ball over to a wide-open Jordan Sierra for an easy shot into the empty net.

The second goal woke Santos up a little, and they were able to get the ball and make a foray into the Toluca end, but still couldn’t create anything remotely dangerous. Fernando Gorriarán got Santos’ first shot on goal in the 39th minute, hitting a roller in on frame that Tiago Volpi stopped easily. A minute later it was Harold Preciado with a shot that was blocked, and Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre hitting the rebound well wide of the net. At the other end Menenses got another shot, but it went wide of the net. In the 44th it was Valber Huerta getting a crack, hitting a low shot that Acevedo did well to turn aside. Santos was able to hang on and go into the locker room without any further damage.

Santos came out like a house afire in the second half, fighting for balls and getting a good chance early with a cross into the box that was deflected just wide of the far post. Early in the half Jair González went down in the box after getting tangled up with Brayan Angulo, who took exception to González going down. A small scrum broke out, but was over almost as quickly as it began. González however continued to be a thorn in Toluca’s side, making a slashing run into the box in the 53rd that was cleared out by the last defender before a shot could be taken. Santos kept on the attack, constantly pressuring Toluca and looking for every opportunity to take a shot or go in on goal.

In the 62nd minute, “Mudo” Aguirre was played in on goal, but his shot went just wide of the net. In the 67th minute Santos had a great chance when Leo Suárez played in Javier Correa, who hit it over to Aguirre, but Volpi came out and made a nice sliding save. Volpi stayed down, clutching his left arm, and there was contact with both Correa and Aguirre on the play, leaving a small tear in Volpi’s lycra undershirt. IN the 74th Correa was played in on a great ball from Leo Suárez and was able to go around Volpi, who came off of his line, but his shot hit the post flush and went out. On the re-start, Hugo Rodríguez put his head onto a cross into the box. Volpi slapped it out, but it had clearly crossed the line and after a couple of seconds (an eternity for Santos fans), the goal was called.

Santos kept on the attack, and in the 79th Suárez fired one on net that Volpi stopped. At the other end in the 80th minute, Sebastián Saucedo hit a hard shot on goal that Acevedo stopped. the rebound fell straight to Carlos González, but his shot was sent into the stands. Santos kept the pressure on, but in the 88th Carlos González got a ball over the top and ran into Matheus Dória and went down. A penalty was issued initially, but it was outside of the box and the call was changed to a free kick just outside. Then on the ensuing play Leonardo Fernández gave chase to the ball and went down in the box, but there was no contact and no foul was given. Sebastián Saucedo got a shot for Toluca in stoppage, but Acevedo did well to turn it aside and out behind goal. Omar Campos got a header in the fourth minute of stoppage, but it was right at Volpi and he stopped it easily. In the end however they were not able to get the tying goal and Toluca held on for the victory.

Toluca heads to León for a match on Tuesday, July 26 before heading to Juárez for a match against Bravos on Friday, July 29. Santos meanwhile will host Atlas on Sunday, July 31.

Toluca: Tiago Volpi; Raúl López, Andrés Mosquera, Valber Huerta, Brayan Angulo; Jordan Sierra, Marcel Ruiz (Aldo Llanas, 90+5’); Leonardo Fernández (Alan Rodríguez, 90’), Fernando Navarro (Oscar Ortega, 90’), Jean Menenses (Sebastián Saucedo, 78’); Camilo Sanvezzo (Carlos González, 78’)

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Omar Campos, Félix Torres (Alan Cervantes, 40’), Hugo Rodríguez, Matheus Dória, Franco Pizzichillo (Jair González, 45’); Eduardo Aguirre, Fernando Gorriarán, Juan Brunetta (Javier Correa, 45’), Roni Prieto (Leo Suárez 60’); Harold Preciado (Jordan Carrillo, 60’)

Scoring: Toluca - Leonardo Fernández (10’ - penalty), Jordan Sierra (25’); Santos Laguna - Hugo Rodríguez (75’)

Disciplinary: Toluca - Marcel Ruiz (Yellow - 44’), Brayan Angulo (Yellow 0 86’); Santos Laguna - Hugo Rodríguez (Yellow - 30’), Matheus Dória (Yellow - 88’), Javier Correa (Yellow - 90+7’)