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Match recap: Santos Laguna 0, Atlas 0

A very even match in the desert heat as Santos and Atlas play to a 0-0 draw.

Raul Lopez (L) of Santos fights for the ball with Brian Lozano (R) of Atlas during the 3rd round match between Santos Laguna and Atlas as part of the Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on July 13, 2023 in Torreon, Mexico. Photo by Jos Alvarez/Jam Media/Getty Images

With temperatures at kickoff nearing 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), it wasn’t going to be an easy match for either side. Both Atlas and Santos however did what they could under the scorching temperatures, battling to a 0-0 draw at Estadio Corona.

Atlas had a bit better of the possession early on, earning a couple of corner kicks around the fourth minute of play but nothing really came of it. Still they kept pressuring, pinning Santos in their own end for most of the opening part of the match. The first good chance of the match came in the 15th minute when former Santos forward Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre hit a cross to Luis Reyes who was screaming down the left side of the box, but his resulting header wound up on the wrong side of the net for the visitors. While Atlas was able to keep possession, Santos’ defense kept firm and ensured that nothing dangerous found its way in on goal.

In the 30th minute Atlas finally got another good look on goal, but a long-distance free kick from Reyes was punched out by Gibran Lajud with minimal danger presenting. Five minutes later it was Santos’ turn for a free kick in on goal, but Camilo Vargas saw Juan Brunetta’s shot the entire way and made the easy save. Then in the 37th Duván Vergara made a nice run and hit a shot just outside of the area, but it went just wide. The momentum swung into Santos’ favor, with Atlas forced to sit back on their heels and defend while Santos kept constant pressure on Deep in stoppage time Juan Brunetta hit a shot from distance that sailed over the crossbar. Both teams went into the locker having held possession, having to have defend while the other held possession, but ultimately with nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.

To start the second half, Santos remained on the front foot but ultimately couldn’t get much going. Possession eventually ebbed back in Atlas’ favor, and in the 53rd minute Brian “Huevo” Lozano unleashed a shot from distance that went high. Lozano was roundly booed every time he touched the ball from the Santos fans in his first time playing in Torreón since leaving for Peñarol mid-season a year ago. In the 56th Santos hit Atlas on a nice counterattack, but Juan Brunetta’s pass wound up bobbled by Emerson Rodríguez into the waiting arms of Camilo Vargas.

Atlas started getting more of the possession, but Santos’ defense was up to the test, with Pedro Aquino and Matheus Dória each making key blocks on shots to prevent them from even getting in on goal. In the 80th minute a shot from Javier Abella from distance went in on Lajud, who punched the ball out to safety. At the other end in the 83rd minute, a cross in the box found Javier Correa, but his header was mis-timed and went well into the seats behind goal.

Santos had some free kick opportunities late, but both Matheus Dória and Javier Correa’s attempts missed the mark and the match ended in a 0-0 draw.

Santos heads to Houston, Texas to face the Houston Dynamo in the Leagues Cup on Tuesday, July 25, while Atlas will face New York City FC at Citi Field Baseball Stadium on Sunday, July 23. When Liga MX play resumes, Santos will face Cruz Azul in Mexico City on Saturday, August 19 while Atlas hosts Club América on Saturday, August 19.

Santos Laguna: Gibran Lajud; Omar Campos, Félix Torres, Matheus Dória, Raúl López (Ismael Govea, 80’); Aldo López, Alan Cervantes (Pedro Aquino, 64’), Duván Vergara (Javier Correa, 79’), Juan Brunetta, Emerson Rodríguez (Diego Medina, 75’); Harold Preciado

Atlas: Carlos Vargas; Luis Reyes, Anderson Santamaría, Martín Nervo, Javier Abella; Mateo García Jorge Guzmán, 67’), Aldo Rocha; Brian Lozano, Jaziel Martínez (Christopher Trejo, 79’), Edgar Zaldívar (Juan Manuel Zapata, 67’); Eduardo Aguirre (Rivaldo Lozano, 79’)

Scoring: Santos Laguna - None; Atlas - None

Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Harold Preciado (Yellow - 46’), Gibran Lajud (Yellow - 54’), Pedro Aquino (Yellow - 84’); Atlas - Anderson Santamaría (Yellow - 46’), Juan Manuel Zapata (Yellow - 90+3’)