An early goal from Diego Reyes set the tone for Tigres, and a red card in the 62nd minute to Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre sealed Santos’ fate as Tigres picked up a 3-0 win at Estadio Corona. Tigres picks up their first regular season win in Torreón since February 5, 2011. and Santos is winless in their past three regular season meeting against their regional rivals.
The first few minutes of the match saw Tigres largely keeping possession, however they weren’t able to do much with the ball as Santos sat back, defending and waiting for an opportunity to counter. Santos however got their first opportunity in the fifth minute on a free kick from distance, but Juan Brunetta’s ball in was too long and Nahuel “Patón” Guzmán easily picked it off. At the other end, a foul on former Santos midfielder Fernando Gorriarán gave Tigres a free kick, but it was headed over the bar. A short corner from Gorriarán lead to him whipping the ball in where Diego Reyes was left unmarked, heading the ball into the back of the net for the game’s first goal.
¡Tigres pega primero en la Comarca! Gorriarán puso una asistencia de lujo ante su exequipo y Diego Reyes definió de forma contundente. #FOXLigaMX— foxdeportes.eth (@FOXDeportes) January 9, 2023
@RodolfoLanderos @SirJohnLaguna @marianot19 @pulpozuniga @daniella_lg pic.twitter.com/ixglgf5vMU
Santos tried to put themselves into a position to get an equalizer, but Tigres did well to absorb pressure and not try to get too cute. In the 15th minute, a poor foul just outside of the box by Alan Cervantes lead to a free kick, but André-Pierre Gignac’s attempt went into the wall and the danger was eventually cleared. Santos did well to try and force the issue, applying pressure when Tigres got the ball and forcing turnovers, however inevitably errant passes and poor decisions sunk incursions into the offensive zone.
Santos however did start to threaten, and in the 25th minute the team’s first shot of the game from Alan Cervantes was blocked out for a corner. Tigres however didn’t flinch, and dealt well with Santos’ increasing pressure. Gignac aside, the unit remained in front of the attack and compact, conceding precious little in the center of the pitch to the hosts. Jair González had an attempt in the 32nd minute, but it went well high of the intended target. A minute later, Santos got their first threatening shot of the season when a good shot at pace from Juan Brunetta forced Patón Guzmán to make a diving save.
Santos had a real opportunity in the 40th minute when a counterattack lead to Brunetta receiving a pass in stride on the right, but his volley wasn’t clean and it wound up going into the stands. A minute later there were shouts for a penalty as Gonaález and Jesús Angulo got tangled up in the box, however Oscar Mejía García allowed play to continue. Replays showed while there was plenty of contact, both players were about equally as involved and that the no-call was a good call. Guzmán made one more save before the half ended, this time on a long range blast from Brunetta, keeping his team’s one goal lead as the teams went into the locker rooms.
The second half started off well enough for both teams, but in the 49th minte Félix Torres slid from behind to get the ball away from Luis Quiñones. In doing so, he clipped the heel of Jesús Garza, and a penalty was awarded. After a few moments however, Oscar Mejía García went to the VAR booth and overturned the call, revoking the yellow card he had shown to Torres in the process. Both teams were playing at an even level, with neither able to gain a clear advantage. In the 57th minute Gorriarán had a good look at goal however a good sliding block from Jair González deflected the ball wide of the net.
In the 61st minute Santos had a couple of good opportunities off of a corner kick, but Patón Guzmán stood firm. The ball quirted free and both Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre and Gorriarán went for the ball, with the latter getting caught by a cleat in the ankle. Aguirre was shown a red card, and this time there would be no salvation from a VAR review.
With the advantage, Tigres was able to open things up a bit. While still preferring to keep players in front of the attack, the open spaces allowed them to retain possession longer, taking more time to set up passes and forcing Santos to do twice as much work to keep up. Santos was able to get a decent chance in the 79th minute off of a corner kick, but Harold Preciado’s close range shot was deflected high. The night however belonged to Tigres, and in the 82nd minute a nice cross from Quiñones was touched wide by Nicolás “Diente” López, and André-Pierre Gignac was able to easily slot it home to double the lead.
¡Monsieur Gignac sentenció! El "viejito" francés demostró que su giro de cadera está intacto y aprovechó para mandar un mensaje a la grada. #FOXLigaMX— foxdeportes.eth (@FOXDeportes) January 9, 2023
@RodolfoLanderos @SirJohnLaguna @marianot19 @pulpozuniga @daniella_lg pic.twitter.com/7uxQuPI7ko
Santos tried to pull one back, and in the 88th minute Juan Brunetta had a good shot on goal but Patón Guzmán made a nice save to preserve the clean sheet. Then at the other end, a nice cut back pass from Gignac found Quiñones in stride, and Quiñonez added an exclamation point to the win.
¡Cayó el tercero! Otra genialidad de #Gignac que le da una asistencia perfecta a Quiñones para cerrar el espectáculo esta noche de #FOXLigaMX.— foxdeportes.eth (@FOXDeportes) January 9, 2023
@RodolfoLanderos @SirJohnLaguna @marianot19 @pulpozuniga @daniella_lg pic.twitter.com/jc1E9x1Tea
Santos remains at home to host Pumas on Saturday, January 14 while Tigres returns to Monterrey to host Pachuca on Sunday, January 15.
Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Raúl López (Andrés Ibargüen, 66’), Félix Torres, Hugo Rodríguez, Omar Campos; Javier Medina (Eduardo Aguirre, 46’), Alan Cervantes (Cecilio Domínguez, 80’), Aldo López (Joshua Mancha, 80’), Jair González; Juan Brunetta; Harold Preciado
Tigres UANL: Nahuel Guzmán; Jesús Garza, Igor Lichnovsky, Diego Reyes, Jesús Angulo; Rafael Carioca (Nicolás López, 80’), Guido Pizarro, Fernando Gorriarán (Juan Pablo Vigon, 70’); Luis Quiñones (Sebastián Córdova, 90’), André-Pierre Gignac, Javier Aquino
Scoring: Santos Laguna - None; Tigres UANL - Diego Reyes (7’), André-Pierre Gignac (82’), Luis Quiñones (88’)
Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Alan Cervantes (Yellow - 15’), Eduardo Fentanes (Yellow - 23’), Eduardo Aguirre (Red - 62’); Tigres UANL - Igor Lichnovsky (Yellow - 43’), Jesús Garza (Yellow - 52’)