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Match recap: Club Atlético de San Luis 1, Santos Laguna 1

Santos and San Luis play to a spirited 1-1 draw.

Diego Medina (L) of Santos fights for the ball with Rodrigo Dourado (R) of San Luis during the 8th round match between Atletico San Luis and Santos Laguna as part of the Torneo Clausura 2023 Liga MX at Estadio Alfonso Lastras on February 18, 2023 in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Photo by Ricardo Hernandez/Jam Media/Getty Images

A tale of two halves, as San Luis was able to capitalize on a chance in the first and Santos capitalized in the second as the sides tied 1-1. Santos had the better game overall, but wasted chances in the first half and some good defending by San Luis allowed them to only take home one point instead of three.

Santos had the better of the early play, although it was fairly even for the first few minutes. Bolstered by the return of Matheus Dória on the back line, San Luis’ forays into the offensive zone often hit a wall. To be fair however, San Luis goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero had as little to do as his counterpart during the first ten minutes, save for swatting away a corner kick that got a little too close for comfort. The game was rather physical, and referee Oscar Mejía was content to let the teams play for the most part without getting himself involved. He did however show Aldo López a yellow card for a hard tackle on Javier Güémez in the 18th minute. He did not however show a card to Jhon Murillo for a blatant dive in the box in the 25th minute.

San Luis broke the scoreless deadlock in the 30th minute when Leonardo Bonatini got a great pass from Barovero, made a run down the left, and crossed the ball on the ground to Mateo Klimowicz, who buried a shot past Carlos Acevedo.

The replays showed that Barovero’s pass was almost intercepted in the midfield, but the player mis-judged the arc of the ball and it missed his head by inches, creating a mis-match along the back line.

Santos was able to apply some pressure to San Luis, getting the better of possession and keeping the ball in the San Luis end for a decent amount of time. They were however unsuccessful in getting anything to go, with chances going high and wide of the goal. A notable exception was however a laser of a shot from Raúl “Dedos” López in stoppage that smashed into the post. It stopped everyone on the pitch but did not go, and San Luis was able to take their lead into the locker.

Santos came out looking more focused in the second half. Early on Harold Preciado had a good chance when he had a cross into the box drop onto his foot, but he scuffed the shot off of the turf and Marcelo Barovero was easily able to scoop it up. Santos finally broke through in the 55th minute when a ad scramble in the box lead to Lucas González going in against Barovero and knocking the ball in past him to equalize.

Santos kept the pressure on, and looked hungry for a second goal. Javier Correa had a good shot that missed by inches in the 65th minute. Diego Medina forced Barovero to deflect a ball out of bounds in the 69th, driving down the right flank and almost lifting a ball up and over the outstretched leg with Harold Preciado waiting in the wings.

There was some controversy in the 71st minute when Matheus Dória cleared a ball out of the box. Mejía initially whistled a penalty, however the replays showed the ball hit Dória in the side of the head, with the player showing the referee the red mark on the side of his head where he’d been hit.. After a brief VAR review, Mejía reversed the call.

Santos kept pushing, getting a flurry of attempts but most didn’t make it through the defense, deflecting back at them or out of bounds. In the 81st Javier Correa had a great chance when he drove through the defense in on Barovero, but Correa’s chip of the prone netminder went just wide of the far post. San Luis almost got one in the 85th when Dieter Villalpando hit one through traffic that went just wide of the net. In the fouthg minute of stoppage, a great ball over the top found the head of Sabin Merino, but it went just over the bar. At the other end, Santos was awarded a free kick in the dying moments, but Dedos López’ free kick was knocked out by Barovero.

San Luis heads to Toluca to face Los Diablos Rojos on Sunday, February 25th while Santos hosts Toluca on Thursday, February 23rd and then hosts Puebla on Sunday, February 26th.

Club Atlético de San Luis: Marcelo Barovero; Ricardo Chávez, José Juan García, Unai Bilbao, Uziel García (Vitor Ferreira, 59’); Mateo Klimowicz (Dieter Villalpando, 64’), Juan Sanabria, Javier Güémez, Rodrigo Dourado; Jhon Murillo, Leonardo Bonatini (Sabin Merino, 64’)

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Raúl López, Hugo Rodríguez, Matheus Dória, Omar Campos; Rivaldo Lozano (Lucas González, 46’), Alan Cervantes (Salvador Mariscal, 46’), Aldo López (Javier Correa, 46’); Diego Medina (Emerson Rodríguez, 74’), Harold Preciado, Juan Brunetta (Félix Torres, 81’)

Scoring: Club Atlético de San Luis - Mateo Klimowicz (30’); Santos Laguna - Lucas González (56’)

Disciplinary: Club Atlético de San Luis - David Andrade (Yellow - 88’), Juan García (90+5’), Andre Soares (Red - Full Time); Santos Laguna - Aldo López (Yellow - 19’), Alan Cervantes (Yellow - 27’), Harold Preciado (Yellow - 43’)