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Match preview: Mazatlán FC vs. Santos Laguna

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General view inside the Kraken Stadium taken through a fish eye lens prior the 10th round match between Mazatlan FC and Tigres UANL as part of the Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX at Kraken Stadium on September 30, 2023 in Mazatlan, Mexico. Photo by Sergio Mejia/Getty Images

Game: Mazatlán Futbol Club vs. Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.

Date: Wednesday, November 1st

Time: 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 10:00 p.m. Central, 9:00 p.m. CDMX, 8:00 p.m. Pacific and local, 3:00 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio de Mazatlán (Mazatlán, Sin.)

Referees: REF: Fernando Hernandez Gomez, AR1: Michel Alejandro Morales Morales, AR2: Jair De Jesús Sosa García, 4TH: Vicente Jassiel Reynoso Arce, VAR: Ismael Rosario López Peñuelas, AVAR: Diana Stephanía Pérez Borja

Television: United States - TUDN; Mexico - TV Azteca, FOX Sports

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), TUDN En Vivo,

All-time record: Santos and Mazatlán have met sixtimes before, with Santos winning four to Mazatlán’s one, with the club playing to one draw. The last time they met, Santos got the road victory, beating Los Cañoneros 2-1 thanks to goals from Juan Brunetta and Harold Preciado, while Ariel Nahuelpan got the lone goal for the hosts.

Harold Preciado of Santos celebrates after scoring the team’s first goal during the 14th round match between Santos Laguna and FC Juarez as part of the Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on October 29, 2023 in Torreon, Mexico.
Harold Preciado’s 10 goals on the season leads the league.
Photo by Jos Alvarez/Jam Media/Getty Images

After picking up perhaps their most impressive win of the season, Santos heads on the road to face Mazatlán, with both clubs needing to amass as many points as possible to make the repechaje. At time of this writing, Santos sits in eleventh place with 17 points and Mazatlán is in twelfth with 16. Atlas, Puebla, and Pachuca however all have 16 points as well, and only the top twelve make the repechaje. With just four games left to play, it’s not hyperbole that every point at this stage of the game is critical.

Santos remedied a lot of their previous issues in their match against Juárez. Defensively they looked as good as they had all season, causing a lot of problems in Juárez’ midfield and not letting Los Bravos do much of anything with possession. Offensively they were sharp, finishing a lot of chances that in other games may have been less clinical. If Santos can play at this level, they’ll be a threat no matter who they go up against.

Ake Loba of Mazatlan celebrates after scoring the team’s first goal during the 4th round match between Leon and Mazatlan FC as part of the Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX at Leon Stadium on August 18, 2023 in Leon, Mexico.
Ake Loba will miss a significant amount of time with a fractured left fibula suffered in the match against Querétaro.
Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Mazatlán meanwhile is also coming off of a very good game where they downed Querétaro 3-0. It was the third time in four games that Mazatlán has scored three goals in a win, also defeating Chivas and Atlas by matching 3-1 score lines, with both games also being played in Guadalajara. All told, Mazatlán have scored 21 goals while conceding 22, with Ake Loba’s six goals leading the team.

The bad news for Mazatlán however is that Loba will most likely miss a significant chunk of time after suffering a fractured left fibula during the match against Querétaro. Luis Amarilla has three goals on the season, while Francisco Venegas, Nico Benedetti, Edu Bello, and Josué Colmán each have two. Only Amarilla, Colmán, and Venegas are in the in the 21 player convocados however. Someone will have to step up.

Both teams desperately need points to create any sort of buffer heading into the final stretch of the season. Both teams should equally be eager to show that they’re starting to come together at the right time, and that recent results were the start of a trend in the right direction instead of a fluky one-off.