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Match recap: Santos Laguna 1, Atlas 0

Santos picks up three huge points against defending champions thanks to a goal from Juan Brunetta.

Players of Santos walk at halftime during the 6th round match between Santos Laguna and Atlas as part of the Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on July 31, 2022 in Torreon, Mexico. Photo by Jos Alvarez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Santos maintains their dominance at home, downing Atlas 1-0 thanks to a Juan Brunetta goal. Brunetta’s first goal in Liga MX pushes Santos back into the repechacje zone with a game in hand while Atlas sink even closer to the bottom of the table.

Santos had the first good rush of the game two minutes in when Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre was played in on goal, however Camilo Vargas read it well and slid to control the ball. There was minimal contact on Aguirre, and rightly no call was made. Then at the other end it was Carlos Acevedo coming up big, making a stop on a shot from Ozziel Herrera from close range. The ball stopped barely a yard in front of the goal with two Santos defenders on either side, remaining motionless for what seemed like an eternity before it was eventually cleared out. The game calmed down quite a bit, with precious few chances being created until the 16th minute when Julio Furch was in the box and slotted a pass back to Jeremy Márquez, but his shot went deep into the stand behind the net. A minute late Julián Quiñones tried his luck from distance, but Acevedo saw it the entire way and easily clutched the shot into his chest.

Santos started getting their chances around the 20th minute, first with a Fernando Gorriarán shot from distance that was well saved by Vargas and then a minute later by a shot from Mudo Aguirre that whistled wide of the near post. The play overall was disjointed and confined to between the boxes, with rare exception. Emanuel Aguilera had a shot in the 40th that threatened, but nothing else really came close and the teams went into the locker room at the half with a 0-0 score line.

Things livened up a bit in the start of the second half. Juan Brunetta drove into the box in the 47th and unleashed a shot from close range that was just on the wrong side of the near post. In the 54th it was Javier Abella trying his luck from distance, with his shot missing the far post. A minute later Santos gave up a great chance when a pass from Beto Ocejo, on loan from Santos, found Edison Flores in the box. His shot was blocked by Acevedo, but fell to Quiñones, however his shot was blocked out for a corner. Santos was undeterred however, and in the 59th minute Diego Medina made a great move on the right to get past the defender. He slotted it centrally and Edyarith Ortega got a touch on it, but it went right to Juan Brunetta, who sliced through the Atlas defense and hit a shot that Vargas couldn’t stop to give Santos the lead.

Three minutes later Santos had another good chance on an overhead kick from Alan Cervantes that just whistled over the bar. In the 67th Quiñones had another good chance but his header went well over the bar. A few minutes later Ozziel Herrera made a few good moves to go through the Santos defense, but his resulting shot was easily stopped by Acevedo. While it would have been expected for Atlas to press forward and try and equalize, Santos was the one applying the pressure and pushing up to try and get a second goal. This largely kept Atlas out of possession and limited their abilities to attack. Atlas showed some of their desperation in stoppage when they had Camilo Vargas come up into the box during a free kick, but ultimately the gambit paid no dividends. Santos was able to hold on and see the match out, picking up three valuable points.

Santos will host Cruz Azul on Saturday, August 6 while Atlas returns home to host Querétaro on Thursday, August 4 in the teams’ first meeting since the riot at La Corregidora on March 5.

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Omar Campos, Félix Torres, Hugo Rodríguez, Carlos Orrantia; Jair González (Diego Medina, 58’), Alan Cervantes, Fernando Gorriarán (Aldo López, 85’); Juan Brunetta (Cecelio Domínguez, 68’); Javier Correa (Harold Preciado, 68’), Eduardo Aguirre (Eduardo Pérez, 85’)

Atlas: Camilo Vargas; Luis Reyes, Hugo Nervo, Emanuel Aguilera, Javier Abella (Christopher Trejo, 74’); Edison Flores, Jeremy Márquez (Edgar Zaldivar, 74’), Aldo Rocha (Edyairth Ortega, 37’); Julián Quiñones, Julio Furch (Beto Ocejo, 53’), Ozziel Herrera

Scoring: Santos Laguna - Juan Brunetta (59’); Atlas - None

Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Eduardo Fentanes (Yellow - 64’), Félix Torres (Yellow - 90+2’), Alan Cervantes (Yellow - 90+3’); Atlas - Edyairth Ortega (Yellow - 45’), Emanuel Aguilera (Yellow - 80’)