Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Fútbol Club Juárez
Date: Sunday, September 18th
Time: 8:05 p.m. Eastern, 7:05 p.m. Central, 5:05 p.m. Pacific, 12:05 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Referees: REF: Oscar Macías Romo, AR1: Enedina Caudillo Gómez, AR2: Jonathan Maximiliano Gómez, 4TH: Brian Omar Gonzalez Veles, VAR: Guillermo Pacheco Larios, AVAR: Alberto Morín Méndez
All-time record: Santos has never lost to FC Juárez, winning six and drawing four across all competitions. The last time the clubs met, they played to a 0-0 draw in the Borderland back on February 19, 2022. The last time they met in Torreón, Santos got a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Félix Torres and Alessio Da Cruz.
After a controversial mid-week draw against América, Santos Laguna returns home to host regional rivals FC Juárez. Santos was leading against the superlíders heading into the 85th minute, but an unfortunate own goal and a goal deep into a generous stoppage time resulted in a disappointing draw.
The good news is that Santos dominated América for a large swath of the game, proving they can hang with anyone in the league. Leo Suárez notched two against his former team, giving him six goals on the season, putting him in a six-way tie for sixth place in the league’s goal-scoring race. Offensively, Santos is one goal behind América with 33 goals scored on the season, and defensively they’ve given up 21 in 15 games, good enough for tenth overall in the league.
The bad news is that their defense has been decimated with injuries. Matheus Dória has been out since suffering an injury to his right leg in Week 4 against Toluca, and Félix Torres has also been out since Week 11 when he suffered an injury to his right hamstring in a match against San Luis. Hugo Rodríguez and Roni Prieto have filled in for the duo, but Rodríguez will be unavailable for the match, having picked up five yellow cards. Look for Rivaldo Lozano to be a possible starter against Juárez.
Juárez have no such selection issues, and they’re coming in fighting for one of the final spots in the repechaje. They picked up a mid-week win against Pachuca 2-1, and are looking to pick up as many points as they can to make sure they’re not still on the outside looking in at the end of the season.
Juárez has presented themselves as defensively sound this season, allowing just 15 goals in 15 games, good enough to put them at sixth place overall. They’ve shut out three teams and allowed more than one goal just three times on the season so far. They’ll be a difficult team for even Santos’ high-flying offense to break through against.
Their downfall however has been their offense, which ranks them tied for deal last in goals with just 14. Of those 14, Gabriel Fernández has five, Alan Medina has three, and no one else has more than one. To put it another way, the team has scored four more goals than Pachuca’s Nicolás Ibáñez on the year.
Santos however will have the home field advantage and should be fired up to avenge the result against América. A win will also give them the inside track being able to get a result in the final week of the season and skip the repechaje, going straight into the Liguilla.