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Match recap: FC Juárez 3, Santos Laguna 1

Juárez gets their first ever win against Santos thanks to a brace from Gabriel Fernández.

Alfredo Talavera, goalkeeper of Juarez celebrates the team’s first goal during the 6th round match between FC Juarez and Santos Laguna as part of the Torneo Clausura 2023 Liga MX at Olimpico Benito Juarez on February 11, 2023 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Photo by Alvaro Avila/Jam Media/Getty Images

All good things must come to an end. For Santos, it was just a matter of time until they lost a game to Juárez, and a lackluster performance from Santos saw Juárez get their first ever win against their regional rivals 3-1.

The game stared out with both teams feeling each other out for the most part, however ti almost turned in the second minute of play when Javier Nevarez ripped a shot from distance that caught Acevedo flat-footed, however it hit the far post flush and bounced back out into the field of play. Neither team is really able to get much going, although Juárez wins the possession battle quite handily. Santos got their opportunity in the 20th minute however when Javier Correa got a great ball forward, catching Alfredo Talavera off of his line. Correa was able to get the ball down and get off a shot, but it hit off of the post. Fortunately for Santos Harold Preciado was there to knock it in for his third goal of the season.

Juárez had a chance to equalize it in the 32nd minute when Tomas Molina hit a rocket from distance that took a deflection mid-flight. Acevedo was able to get to it and punch it out, but it went to an onrushing Jordan Sierra, but his shot was rushed and went well over the bar. Javier Nevarez had a shot from distance a few minutes later, but it went straight to Acevedo, who caught the shot easily. In the 36th Molina almost had a goal, but his header was cleared off the line by Acevedo in a wonderful kick save. Acevedo came up big a minute later, reaching back and pushing a headed ball up and into the crossbar and out before it crossed the line.

The second half saw things open up a bit, with both teams making forays into their opponent’s half and creating chances. Juárez leveled the match in the 50th when Gabriel Fernández got his head onto a corner kick and deflected it far post, putting it just out of the reach of Acevedo.

Juárez almost got a second in the 58th when a header hit off of the crossbar. Acevedo make a fantastic save in the 60th minute, but on the ensuing corner kick Fernández again headed the ball far post past Acevedo. The team sprinted to the stands to celebrate, and Carlos Salcedo chugged a drink that was handed to him, throwing the rest in to the crowd to the delight of the fans.

Santos did well to try and create opportunities, forcing Juárez to concede several corner kicks, but were unable to convert on any. Juárez meanwhile were content to milk the clock, utilizing every opportunity to stop play and keep it stopped. Then in an almost exact replay of the first two goals, Tomas Medina was left unattended in the box and headed it far post out of Acevedo’s reach.

Santos kept pressuring to get one back but just couldn’t get anything to work. Frustrations got the best of Santos, with Cecilio Domínguez being sent off deep in stoppage with a straight red card for something he said to referee Guillermo Pacheco. Ultimately though it mattered little, as Juárez have now won two straight games while Santos are winless in three.

Juárez heads to Monterrey to take on Tigres on Tuesday, February 14th before returning home to host León on Friday, February 17, while Santos heads to San Luis Potosí to take on Atlético San Luis on Saturday, February 18.

FC Juárez: Alfredo Talavera, Luis Rodríguez (Mauro Lainez, 87’), Alejandro Arribas (Ventura Alvarado, 70’), Carlos Salcedo, Maximiliano Olivera; Denzell García, Jesús Dueñas; Javier Nevarez, Tomas Molina (Martín Barra, 87’), Jordan Sierra (Agustín Urzi, 62’); Gabriel Fernández

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Raúl López (Matheus Dória, 84’), Félix Torres, Hugo Rodríguez, Omar Campos; Aldo López, Alan Cervantes (Emerson Rodríguez, 69’); Jair González (Diego Medina, 62’), Juan Brunetta, Javier Correa; Harlold Preciado

Scoring: FC Juárez - Gabriel Fernández (50’, 62’), Tomas Molina (81’); Santos Laguna - Harold Preciado (21’)

Disciplinary: FC Juárez - None; Santos Laguna - Alan Cervantes (Yellow - 40’), Cecilio Domínguez, (Red - 90+5’)