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Match recap: Tigres UANL 2, Santos Laguna 0

Tigres wins their sixth of the season and picks up their ninth win in the last ten across all competitions when hosting Santos.

Luis Quiñones of Tigres celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s second goal during the 8th round match between Tigres UANL and Santos Laguna as part of the Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX at Universitario Stadium on August 14, 2022 in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Tigres got back to their winning ways, downing Santos Laguna 2-0 in a physical, card-filled match that saw the hosts end with just ten players. Tigres remain in third place in the league, creating separation between them and Pachuca while Santos are in eighth, with a game in hand against everyone above them except Pachuca.

Santos started out the game looking well in possession, finding the little spaces and lanes to put the ball into in order to move through the Tigres defense. Tigres were usually pretty well positioned so that while Santos moved well they didn’t create a whole lot to start. Tigres also did well to try and keep they eyes forward when they had the ball, and in the fifth minute got possession in deep. Nico “Diente” López’ shot however was stopped by a sliding Hugo Rodríguez. A minute later, Carlos Acevedo made a fantastic diving stop on a shot from distance from André-Pierre Gignac, pushing it up and over the bar. Four minutes later Gignac headed a corner into the mixer. It fell to the feet of Guido Pizarro, who inexplicably put the ball up into the stands.

Santos had a good opportunity in the 15th minute when Juan Brunetta hit a shot from distance that got past Nahuel “Patón” Guzmán, but it rolled wide of the net for a goal kick. At the other end two minutes later, “Diente” López had a chance from inside the box but it went well over the crossbar. Gignac had another chance in the 18th minute on a great pass from Sebastián Córdova, but he sent it well into the seats behind the goal. Tigres were slowly winning the possession battles and setting the tone and pace of the match while Santos largely sat back and waited for their opportunities to come.

Unfortunately the opportunity came for Tigres in the 25th when Córdova and Gignac played a give and go. Córdova made a brilliant move to retain possession of the ball and hit a shot into the turf that took a bounce off of Hugo Rodríguez’ arm and in past Acevedo for the game’s first goal.

Santos started to get some chances, pressuring Tigres into turnovers and poor decisions for a bit before Tigres again started getting more and more of the possession and keeping the ball down in the Santos end. Gignac had a header from close range in the 37th but Acevedo saw it the entire way and made the save look easy. In the 41st Santos had a great chance with Juan Brunetta getting in past the defense and hitting a shot that Guzmán made a nice save by dragging his toe along the ground to deflect out. Then in the 44th it was Javier Aquino making a save on a shot from distance by Correa, blocking the empty-net with his feet. Then in stoppage it was Acevedo making himself big to rob Luis Quiñones’ close range shot. Tigres took a slim lead into the lockers for halftime as both teams looked to return to set things straight in the second half.

Santos applied pressure in the earliest moments of the second half, but it was Tigres creating work for Carlos Acevedo first with a shot at the minute mark that Acevedo easily smothered. “Diente” López had a shot from distance in the 50th that was deflected out for a corner. López had a wide open shot in the 53rd that Acevedo stood tall and swatted away to keep his side in it. Tigres doubled their lead in the 56th minute when a turnover deep from Félix Tores went right to Luis Quiñones. Quiñones and López combined to keep Torres chasing shadows before Quiñones fired one low into the corner.

Things changed quickly however in the 60th minute when Rafael Carioca elbowed Fernando Gorriarán in the face, earning a second yellow card and an early trip to the showers. Santos went on the attack, and in the 63rd Harold Preciado forced Guzmán to make a stop, and while Tigres couldn’t clear the ball they put on a master class in shot blocking, stopping at least three consecutive shots and not allowing any in on their goalkeeper.

Santos kept applying pressure, looking for one goal to get them back into the match, while Tigres seemed intent on not allowing that to happen. Santos tried creating chances, but often time runs were not made and what could have been good chances were left unfulfilled. In the 88th Santos again had a flurry of chances but nothing came of it other than a couple of good saves from Guzmán and unfounded cries for a handball. The seven minutes of stoppage didn’t net much beyond Acevedo making one more fantastic save, going up to get a ball that hit off of Raymundo Fulgencio’s knees.

Tigres heads across town to face arch-rivals Rayados on Saturday, August 20 while Santos returns home to host León on Thursday, August 18 before heading to CU to face Pumas on Sunday, August 21.

Tigres UANL: Nahuel Guzmán; Vladimir Loroña (Jesús Garza, 84’), Hugo Ayala, Diego Reyes, Javier Aquino; Luis Quiñones (Raymundo Fulgencio, 84’), Guido Pizarro, Rafael Carioca, Sebastián Córdova (Juan Pablo Vigon, 76’); André-Pierre Gignac (Jordy Caicedo, 76’), Nicolás López (Eduardo Tercero, 65’)

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Carlos Orrantia (Roni Prieto, 46’), Hugo Rodríguez, Félix Torres (Cecilio Domínguez, 70’), Omar Campos; Jair González (Diego Medina, 63’), Alan Cervantes (Leo Suárez, 63’), Fernando Gorriarán, Juan Brunetta; Eduardo Aguirre (Harold Preciado, 46’), Javier Correa

Scoring: Tigres UANL - Sebastián Córdova (26’), Luis Quiñones, (55’); Santos Laguna - None

Disciplinary: Tigres UANL - Rafael Carioca (Yellow - 13’, Red - 60’), Nicolás López (Yellow - 64’); Santos Laguna - Hugo Rodríguez (Yellow - 29’), Félix Torres (Yellow - 45+3’), Roni Prieto (Yellow - 75’), Juan Brunetta (Yellow - 82’), Diego Medina (Yellow - 82’)