Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Club León
Date: Sunday, October 8th
Time: 9:05 p.m. Eastern, 8:05 p.m. Central, 7:05 p.m. local, 6:05 p.m. Pacific, 1:05 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Referees: REF: Marco Antonio Ortiz Nava, AR1: Alberto Morín Méndez, AR2: Jonathan Maximiliano Gómez, 4TH: Maximiliano Quintero Hernández, VAR: Edgar Allan Morales Olvera, AVAR: Joaquín Alberto Vizcarra Armenta
Streaming: ViX (possible pay service)
All-time record: León holds the all time, with 21 wins to Santos’ 17 and the clubs sharing 12 draws across all competitions. All of these results have come in Liga MX play except for one draw and one León win, which happened when the teams were in the Segunda División during the 1987-88 season.
In their last meeting, León dished out a 4-1 thrashing at the Nou Camp thanks to a brace from Víctor Dávila and goals from Iván Moreno and Fidel Ambriz, while Harold Preciado scored Santos’ lone goal. The last time the clubs met in Torreón, Santos got a 2-1 win on goals from Omar Campos and Félix Torres, while Fidel Ambriz scored León’s lone goal back in August 2022.
A midweek victory was just what the doctor ordered for Santos, ending a two game skid and perhaps more importantly seeing the team improve across the board. The defensive changes of Hugo Rodríguez and Raúl “Dedos” López for the injured Matheus Dória and Ismael Govea as well as switching out goalkeeper Gibrán Lajud for Héctor Holguín did wonders for Santos. Holguín especially was a difference-maker, making a couple of key saves late including stoning a penalty in the 90th minute of play.
The defensive resurgence was very much needed for Santos, who had allowed eight goals during the prior two game losing streak. It also helps that Harold Preciado is having a fantastic season, his eight goals leading the league at the start of this week. If Santos can keep both units functioning at such a high level, there’s no telling how far they can go, especially considering they have a game in hand on most teams and still entered the week in 11th place.
León meanwhile has been on an ok run of form lately. Not great, but not bad either. One win, one loss, and three draws across the last five is about what you’d expect from a team fighting to make the repechaje. Sitting in 12th place, León can ill afford to drop too many more points if they want to be playing soccer in late November.
Nicolás Larcamón has a decent team under him, with Rodolfo Cota in goal, a midfield with Fidel Ambriz and Ángel Mena in it, and Federico Viñas and Nicolás “El Diente” López up top. They can’t seem to pull it all together though, with Viñas contributing just three goals this season and Diente López being relegated to the bench, not scoring any goals in his seven appearances this season. To make matters worse for La Fiera, Larcamón picked up a red card at the end of León’s 1-1 draw at Querétaro last week, so he won’t be in the technical area for the match.
With León floundering, Santos should be confident of picking up three points in front of their home crowd. That said, they simply can not take León for granted. While they have been underperforming, they are a talented side and one capable of playing with any side in the league if they’re firing on all cylinders. Santos can not look past them to their match against América after the international break.