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Match preview: Puebla F.C. vs. Santos Laguna

Santos and Puebla both will look to improve on their first match of the 2023 Apertura when they face off at Estadio Cuauhtémoc.

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General view of Estadio Cuauhtemoc prior the 14th round match between Puebla and Toluca as part of the Torneo Clausura 2023 Liga MX at Cuauhtemoc Stadium on April 07, 2023 in Puebla, Mexico. Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

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

Date: Friday, July 7th

Time: 9:00 p.m. Eastern, 8:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. local, 6:00 p.m. Pacific, 1:00 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Cuauhtémoc (Puebla, Pue.)

Referees: REF: Brian Omar Gonzalez Veles, AR1: Mauricio Nieto Torres, AR2: José De Jesús Baños Caballero, 4TH: Héctor Salvador Solorio Arreola, VAR: Daniel Quintero Huitrón, AVAR: Abraham De Jesús Quirarte Contreras

Television: United States - TUDN; Mexico - FOX Sports, Azteca 7

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), TUDN En Vivo, ViX

All-time record: Santos holds the all time record across all competitions, winning 28 to Puebla’s 17 with 25 draws. The only time the clubs have met outside of Liga MX play was a wild win by Santos in the 2014 Apertura Copa MX Final in penalties. In their last meeting, Santos won 3-2 in Torreón on February 26 thanks to a brace from Juan Brunetta and a goal from Harold Preciado, while Omar Fernández and Guillermo Martínez scored for the visitors. The last time the clubs met in Puebla, Puebla beat Santos 1-0 at Estadio Cuauhtémoc on July 8, 2022 on a Gustavo Ferrareis goal.

Pablo Repetto, head coach of Santos looks on prior the 1st round match between Santos Laguna and Queretaro as part of the Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on July 2, 2023 in Torreon, Mexico.
Pablo Repetto is still searching for his first Liga MX victory after two late goals sunk Santos 2-0 last week.
Photo by Jos Alvarez/Jam Media/Getty Images

After a disappointing start to the season, Santos heads out for their first road trip as they face Puebla tomorrow night to open Week 2 of the 2023 Apertura. Santos will be on a day less rest than their hosts, having played on Sunday evening hosting Querétaro in a 2-0 loss.

Santos looked a but rusty to start the game and came into their own late in the first half, but late goals from Eduardo Lértora and Camilo Sanvezzo sunk Los Guerreros. Gibran Lajud performed admirably in goal, getting the nod after goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo picked up a shoulder injury prior to a Gold Cup match that will keep him sidelined for between three and five months.

Puebla’s Colombian defender Brayan Angulo (R) celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Mexican Apertura tournament football match between Tigres and Puebla at Universitario stadium in Monterrey, Mexico, on July 1, 2023. (Photo by Julio Cesar AGUILAR / AFP)
Brayan Angulo’s goal propelled Puebla to a 1-1 draw against Tigres in the season opener at El Volcán.
Photo by JULIO CESAR AGUILAR/AFP via Getty Images

Puebla meanwhile heads home after holding defending champion Tigres to a 1-1 draw at El Volcán on Saturday. Brayan Angulo’s 47th minute goal put La Franja up, but a late goal from Nico Ibáñez drew Tigres level in the dying moment of the match. Puebla looked confident and compact throughout the match, coming mere minutes from getting a win in one of the more difficult venues in the league.

Puebla could be an even more intimidating foe at home. Santos hasn’t won at Estadio Cuauhtémoc since October 2020, just the eighth win in thirty-five tries in the building. If they’re going to get a result, Santos has to be better in not only creating chances but finishing them as well. Puebla’s defense was suspect last season, but they kept Tigres’ high-octane offense under wraps for most of the match.