Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Club de Fútbol Pachuca
Date: Sunday, April 9th
Time: 8:05 p.m. Eastern, 7:05 p.m. Central, 6:05 p.m. Local, 5:05 p.m. Pacific, 12:05 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Referees: REF: Oscar Macías Romo, AR1: Jorge Antonio Sánchez Espinoza, AR2: Enríque Isaac Bustos Díaz, 4TH: Miguel Ángel Anaya Suárez, VAR: César Arturo Ramos Palazuelos, AVAR: Áxel Meza Méndez
All-time record: Pachuca has a slight lead over Santos across all competitions, winning 24 to Santos’ 22 with 23 draws between them. The teams are deadlocked in Liga MX play, each having 21 wins and splitting 20 draws. The teams met when were both in the Segunda División A (now Ascenso MX), with Pachuca winning twice, Santos winning once, and the clubs drawing once over the 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons. The clubs also drew 1-1 in the 2008-09 SuperLiga and met in the 2018 Apertura Copa MX tournament, with Pachuca winning once and the teams drawing once as well. The last time the teams met, Pachuca got the 2-0 win in Pachuca on September 3, 2022 thanks to goals from Nicolás Ibáñez and Eduardo “La Chofis” López. In their last match in Torreón, Santos won 3-1 on April 3,2022 with goals from Brian Lozano, Harold Preciado, and Jordan Carrillo while Nicolás Ibáñez scored the lone goal for Tuzos.
After picking up a draw on the road against Necaxa, Santos returns home to host Pachuca. Santos entered the week in 10th place, precariously close to dropping out of the repechaje. They’ll need to pick up as many points as possible in their remaining three games to keep themselves above the line, and that includes taking full advantage of home field.
Santos did much better defensively against Necaxa, getting just their second shutout of the season while being shutout for the fourth time. The shutout was perhaps the bigger story, with Santos entering this week seventeenth out of eighteen teams defensively, with only Mazatlán (32) conceding more than Santos’ 27 goals. The good news is that Santos will get Hugo Rodríguez back from his red card suspension, picked up in the Week 12 match against León.
Despite the shutout last week Santos still enter Week 14 tied with Tigres for ninth place with 18 goals on the season. Harold Preciado leads the team with six goals, tied for fifth place in the league. Javier Correa and Juan Brunetta each have four goals. The goals have usually been coming, especially at home where they’ve scored 11 of their 18.
Pachuca meanwhile comes into the week in sixth place and hoping to amass enough points to sneak into the top four to make the Liguilla directly. They’ll face Santos this week without manager Guillermo Almada, who picked up his fifth yellow card of the season last week against Cruz Azul. They will however still have Eduardo “La Chofis” López, who has six of Pachuca’s twenty-four goals on the season, which put Tuzos in fourth place overall at the beginning of the week.
Pachuca however has given up 18 goals on the season, tying them for ninth place overall. That being said, all three of their shutouts have come on the road, where Pachuca has won four and lost two. Of the two losses, both have been teams where they’ve had to travel long distances (Tijuana and Tigres), with Torreón being about as far as the latter.
While both teams need the points to keep pace in the playoff chase, Santos could be the more desperate. Knowing that dropping points at home will force them to pick them up on the road, a place Santos has historically struggled, the pressure will be on. They have some advantages, at home with Guillermo Almada out (or at least radioing things in from a press box) but they’ll need to take advantage of the advantage.