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Match preview: Santos Laguna vs. Monterrey

Santos’ improbable run continues as they host Rayados in the first round of the Liguilla quarterfinals.

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General view of Corona Stadium prior the 1st round match between Santos Laguna and Tigres UANL as part of the Torneo Clausura 2023 Liga MX on January 8, 2023 in Torreon, Mexico. Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Club de Fútbol Monterrey

Date: Wednesday, May 10th

Time: 9:00 p.m. Eastern, 8:00 p.m. Central, 6:00 p.m. Pacific, 1:00 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)

Referees: REF: Luis Enrique Santander Aguirre, AR1: Jose Ibrahim Martinez Chavarria, AR2: Leonardo Javier Castillo Rodríguez, 4TH: Victor Alfonso Caceres Hernandez, VAR: César Arturo Ramos Palazuelos, AVAR: Jorge Abraham Camacho Peregrina

Television: United States - FOX Deportes; Mexico - TUDN

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), Sling TV (Subscription), TUDN En Vivo, ESPN+, Fanatiz (Check service for available regions), FOX Sports app, OneSoccer (Subscription), Vidgo (Subscription), Peacock (Subscription) Listings for effectively every game in every country can be found here.

All-time record: Monterrey holds the all time edge, winning 34 to Santos’ 29 while the teams have drawn 28 times. In Liga MX play, Monterrey holds the 29 to 26 advantage with 26 draws. In the playoffs, Monterrey won their fourth championship 5-3 on aggregate in the 2010 Apertura. Santos won their fourth championship 3-2 on aggregate in the 2012 Clausura. They also met in the quarterfinal round of the 2018 Apertura with Monterrey winning that 3-0 on aggregate, again in the 2019 Apertura quarterfinal round where Rayados advanced 6-3 on aggregate en route to their fifth championship, and in the 2021 Clausura quarterfinal round where Santos advanced 3-2 on aggregate thanks to a late goal by Roni Prieto in the vuelta leg.

The clubs have also met in the Copa MX, with Santos winning twice to Monterrey’s once as well as in Concacaf Champions League twice with Monterrey winning both the 2011-12 Final 3-2 on aggregate and the 2012-13 Final on 4-2 aggregate. When the clubs met earlier this year, Santos beat Rayados 2-1 for their first win in Monterrey in over 20 years thanks to goals from Juan Brunetta and Harold Preciado while Monterrey’s lone goal was from Rogelio Funes Mori, who was sent of in the 40th minute. In their last meeting in Torreón, Santos came back to pull off a 4-3 win with goals from Fernando Gorriarán, Félix Torres, Harold Preciado, and Brian Lozano while Monterrey got a brace from Rogelio Funes Mori and a goal from Rodrigo Aguirre back on July 3, 2022.

Gibran Lajud of Santos celebrates the team’s second goal during the 17th round match between Cruz Azul and Santos Laguna as part of the Torneo Clausura 2023 Liga MX at Azteca Stadium on April 29, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Gibran Lajud stepped up for Santos, stopping two of four penalties to see Los Guerreros through to the Liguilla.
Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

Despite making it into the repechaje on a technicality and playing without arguably their best player, Santos proved they belonged by taking defending champions Pachuca to penalties and advancing to the quarterfinal stage of the Liguilla. With Carlos Acevedo out injured, Gibran Lajud stepped in between the pipes and delivered a great performance during the penalty shootout, stopping two of the three four shots he faced to allow Santos through.

Another player that had a huge game was Matheus Dória who despite not getting consistent starting minutes under former manager Eduardo Fentanes, was given the nod by Pablo Repetto in the critical repechaje game. Dória delivered, snatching an equalizing goal deep in stoppage to give Santos a shot in the shootout.

Rogelio Funes Mori of Monterrey celebrates after scoring the team’s second goal via penalty during the 17th round match between Monterrey and Pumas UNAM as part of the Torneo Clausura 2023 Liga MX at BBVA Stadium on April 29, 2023 in Monterrey, Mexico.
Rogelio Funes Mori had an outstanding season, scoring 12 goals and leading Monterrey to a superlíder.
Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

Monterrey should take heed of Pachuca’s exit, seeing that if you allow Santos to stay in the game they have the quality to come out on top even against very good teams. Monterrey is a very good team, winning the superlíder They scored 35 goals during the season, behind only América’s 36, and allowed just 14, behind only León’s 13. Rogelio Funes Mori was also second in the scoring race, his 12 goals two shy of Henry Martín’s 14.

Monterrey’s balance is their strength. Head coach Víctor Manuel Vucetich is getting the most from all of his players, and Monterrey might be looking to exact a little bit of revenge on their regional rivals for the 2-1 defeat at Estadio BBVA earlier this year.

Santos has to put forth a good showing at home. Getting one win on the road against Monterrey 20 years isn’t encouraging, but if this season has proven anything, it’s that when you’ve got nothing to lose, you’ve got everything to gain.