Santos came to Monterrey needing three points to get back into the repechaje, however they had never beaten Monterrey at Estadio BBVA, picking up their last league win against Rayados at the old Estadio Tecnológico back on February 27, 2002. Despite some controversial calls that left both teams with ten players at the end of the first half, Santos managed to hang around and pull out the 2-1 win, pushing them all the way into ninth place in the league.
The opening minutes of the match were spent mostly in the midfield, with the teams feeling one another out and trying to establish a rhythm. Neither could really establish much of anything in the early going, with the possession battles yielding little more than the possession itself. That changed suddenly and without warning in the 20th minute when a seemingly innocuous ball over the top found Rogelio Funes Mori, who hit it off of the volley at a tough angle past Carlos Acevedo for the game’s opening goal.
The lead was very short lived however. In the 23rd minute when Javier Correa made a run down the left flank and crossed it into the path of Juan Brunetta, who slotted it into the net for his sixth goal of the season.
A scary collision in the 27th minute though when Luis “Mochis” Cárdenas and Diego Medina went in for a ball, resulting in a collision that left Medina with a bloody knee and Cárdenas with a bloody nose and mouth. Cárdenas was attended to on the sideline for several minutes. Both players were going for the ball, and no card was given. Shortly after play resumed, Hugo Rodríguez went to clear a ball and ever so slightly clipped Funes Mori’s leg. Marco Ortiz initially awarded a penalty, but reversed it after a VAR review and showed Funes Mori a yellow for simulation. Incensed, Funes Mori said something to Ortiz, who almost immediately showed him a second yellow and sent Rayados down to ten players.
This opened things up considerably, with Juan Brunetta smashing one off of the crossbar as the game went into the 12 minutes of stoppage time. But the advantage wouldn’t last until the end of the stoppage as Lucas González put a fairly grisly tackle on Jesús Gallardo and was shown a straight red card.
Lucas Gonzàlez is shown a red card after a challenge pic.twitter.com/Te4BcfZ62R— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 17, 2023
On the restart, Gallardo got down into the area and had a look at goal, but Carlos Acevedo made a great stop to keep the sides level. Then Rodrigo Aguirre had a shot from outside the area that just went wide. Finally, stoppage time ended and the teams went into the locker rooms a player short and tied on goals.
To start the second half, Monterrey subbed out Mochis Cárdenas and put Fernando Hernández in net. Monterrey also put more players forward, looking to take advantage of the open space. It worked well. Rayados had a great chance to start the half when Germán Berteráme hit a flying kick on a deflected ball but sent his shot just high of the net. At the other end, Harold Preciado hit a shot that Hernández did well to stop. In the 52nd minute a shot from Maxi Meza smashed off of the far post, caroming out of danger. Gallardo had a go in the 61st minute, but his shot far post went just wide of the target as well. Meza had another shot in the 63rd minute that went just over the bar.
Santos looked to have taken the lead in the 66th minute when some nice moves got X free along the sideline. His cross went to a player whose shot was saved, but the ball went back to X who was along the touch line for a tap-in, however he was ruled offside. Then 11 had a shot that Acevedo saved. The rebound hit off of Oscar Manzanarez, then hit the crossbar, and was somehow kept out for Acevedo to gather. Duván Vergara hit a rocket in the 78th minute that missed the far post by a couple of feet. Acevedo made a fantastic save in the 82nd minute on a free kick, parrying it wide of the net.
Even more controversy in the 89th minute as Harold Preciado went in for a shot and was taken out by Hernández. Hernández got all player, no ball, and initially no call was given and Preciado was shown a yellow for dissent. Marco Ortiz went to VAR for the second time on the evening and after a long review awarded a penalty. Preciado converted the penalty in stoppage time to give Santos the late lead. And while there were a nervy few minutes left, Santos was able to hang on and pick up their first ever win at El Gigante de Acero.
Monterrey now heads to the west coast to face Mazatlán FC on Friday, April 21 while Santos returns home to host Querétaro on Sunday, April 23.
Monterrey: Luis Cárdenas (Fernando Hernández, 46’); Víctor Guzmán, Jesús Gallardo, Sebastián Vegas; Celso Ortíz (Arturo González, 46’), Luis Romo, Erick Aguirre, Maximiliano Meza (Duván Vergara, 71’); Rodrigo Aguirre, Germán Berterame, Rogelio Funes Mori
Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Omar Campos, Félix Torres, Hugo Rodríguez, Oscar Manzanarez; Juan Brunetta (Rivaldo Lozano, 90+4’), Lucas González, Salvador Mariscal; Diego Medina (Jair González, 69’), Javier Correa (Alan Cervantes, 69’), Harold Preciado
Tonight’s starting Guerreros. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/K66jZcpk9n— Club Santos EN (@ClubSantosEn) April 17, 2023
Scoring: Monterrey - Rogelio Funes Mori (19’); Santos Laguna - Juan Brunetta (22’), Harold Preciado (90+3’ - penalty)
Disciplinary: Monterrey - Rogelio Funes Mori (Yellow - 39’, Red - 40’), Sebastián Vegas (Yellow - 53’), Maximiliano Meza (Yellow - 69’), Luis Romo (; Santos Laguna - Lucas González (Red - 45+8’), Salvador Mariscal (Yellow - 56’), Oscar Manzanarez (Yellow - 81’), Harold Preciado (Yellow - 89’)