How does a team come back from a historic loss? After suffering their worst home defeat in club history, Santos returned three days later at home and needed a great performance. For 75 minutes they got it, and then gutted out the remaining 15 minutes to hang on to pick up a 3-2 win over Puebla.
Santos was fortunate early on when a missed defensive assignment allowed Luis García to get the ball in the box and all alone, but a poor touch allowed Santos to recover and eventually clear the ball. Then at the other end Jair González nutmegged a defender and got some space, but his cross missed the mark and Harold Preciado’s attempt at a chilena missed. Santos nonetheless was able to apply extended pressure on Puebla, pinning the visitors in their own end for several minutes. In the 12th minute Harold Preciado hit a shot that was deflected just wide of the net, but Santos unfortunately was unable to convert the opportunity into anything.
Santos looked much more composed and dangerous than they did in their loss on Thursday. In the 23rd minute, a great ball from Lucas González played Omar Campos in on goal, but his resulting shot went just wide of the net. Campos complained about the physical contact in the box that caused him to fall as he was shooting, but there wasn’t much there and his pleas went unanswered. Puebla had their first good chance in the 28th minute when a cross into the box by Luis García just missed the head of Federico Mancuello. Then at the other end Juan Brunetta tipped a ball up and over Antony Silva, who had come way off of his line, but he was unable to redirect it into the open net Santos finally got a break in the 32nd minute when Matheus Dória hit a shot from distance on frame. Antony Silva made a diving save but left the rebound in the path of Harold Preciado, who beat his defender and poked it into the back of the net.
Santos kept pushing and the pressure paid off in the 44th minute when Preciado went for a ball in the box and was shoved from behind by Emanuel Gularte. Referee Brian González immediately pointed at the spot, and after a conversation with the VAR booth Juan Brunetta stepped up and buried it under the diving goalkeeper.
Santos took the lead to the locker and when they returned to action, they didn’t miss a beat. In the first minute of play Harold Preciado made a great run down the left, and was played in on goal, but he hesitated and the defense was able to mitigate the resulting shot. In the 52nd minute however the defense broke down again allowing Preciado to hit a square ball to Juan Brunetta, who hit it past Antony Silva for his second of the night.
¡Llegó el tercero! Juan Brunetta con su segundo del partido para prácticamente sentenciar el partido.— FOX Deportes (@FOXDeportes) February 27, 2023
️ @SirJohnLaguna @marianot19 @emperadorsuarez @daniella_lg #FOXLigaMX @ClubSantos pic.twitter.com/JZ9BdICZk5
Brunetta wanted the hat trick, and five minutes later drove into the box one-on-one with Antony Silva, and went down in the box. A penalty was not awarded, but Brian González went to the VAR booth for a further look and determined that any contact between goalkeeper and attacker was incidental and play continued. Snatos kept coming at them, and in the 68th minute Javier Correa had a good look and only a sliding block by Emanuel Gularte saved an open shot at goal. Puebla however had other ideas however, and in the 76th minute a great cross in over the top by Gustavo Ferrareis found Omar Fernández, who hit a shot off of the turf and past Carlos Acevedo to cut the lead to two.
Santos quickly got back on it though and in the 79th minute a great ball over the top was headed on frame by Javier Correa, but his shot hit off of the post and he was unable to get to the rebound. In the 85th minute, Ferrareis went up for a ball in the box and Acevedo went up to try and claim it. Ferrareis got his head onto the ball first and Acevedo missed it, hitting Ferrareis in the head. After a brief VAR review, Brian González indicated for a penalty. Guillermo “Memo” Martínez stepped up and converted to draw Puebla within one as the match went into stoppage time. Acevedo had guessed right and gotten a hand to it, but Martínez’ shot was too much.
Puebla had another chance in the third minute when Fernando Arce headed a shot through traffic, but Acevedo was well positioned and easily made the stop. Then at the other end Santi Muñoz got a good ball along the left side and hit a hard shot on goal but Antony Silva made a good stop to knock it aside. Tensions flared when Javier Correa took a leisurely stroll coming off of the pitch. Antony Silva took exception to it and came over and started screaming at the Santos bench. Players and coaches all started yelling at one another. Puebla coach Eduardo Arce was shown a red card, and just when things seemed quiet tensions flared again with Arce and assistant coach Hugo Colace almost coming to blows. Colace was also shown a red card and after quite a bit of time play continued. However Santos was able to hang on and pick up the much needed win.
Santos will head to Guadalajara to face Chivas on Saturday, March 4 while Puebla heads to Mexico City to face Pumas on Sunday, March 5.
Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Raúl López, Matheus Dória, Hugo Rodríguez, Omar Campos; Jair González (Félix Torres, 77’), Lucas González (Alan Cervantes, 63’), Aldo López, Juan Brunetta; Javier Correa (Rivaldo Lozano, 90+5’), Harold Preciado (Santiago Muñoz, 77’)
Puebla F.C.: Antony Silva; Ángel Robles, Emanuel Gularte, Gastón Silva, Lucas Jaques Maia (Ivo Vázques, 63’); Omar Fernández, Diego de Buen (George Corral, 53’), Federico Mancuello (Guillermo Martínez, 53’); Gustavo Ferrareis, Martín Barragán, Luis García (Fernando Arce, 63’)
¡Con orgullo, con intensidad y con ! Así saldremos al Tierrón Stadium, hijos de su Enfranjadísima— Club Puebla (@ClubPueblaMX) February 27, 2023
¡Este equipo está listo para dar un Santo partidazo!
RT porque #LaFranjaNosUne en todas partes pic.twitter.com/yh9hB67Tj0
Scoring: Santos Laguna - Harold Preciado (32’), Juan Brunetta (45+1’ - penalty, 52’); Puebla F.C. - Omar Fernández (76’), Guillermo Martínez (89’ - penalty)
Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Hugo Colace (Red - 90+6’); Puebla F.C. - Gastón Silva (Yellow - 35’), Emanuel Gularte (Yellow - 68’), Fernando Arce (Yellow - 80’), Antony Silva (Yellow - 90+5’), Eduardo Arce (Red - 90+5’)