América’s nine-game winning streak comes to an end as Santos earns a 3-3 tie.
Club América’s nine-game winning streak came to an end as Santos gave Las Guilas more than they could handle for the majority of the game. However, a late autogol provided the hosts a ray of hope, and a goal long into stoppage time allowed the hosts to salvage a tie.
While América took the early possession lead, Santos had the first good look in the fourth minute when Juan Brunetta made a spectacular run into the box before being pushed down. The ball was passed to Harold Preciado, but his shot was wide. A quick assessment by VAR authorities determined that the collision was minor, and play was permitted to continue. However, Santos broke through in the seventh minute when Carlos Orrantia drove deep and passed to Leo Suárez. The former América winger sliced through his former team’s defence before unleashing a bomb that beat Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa.
The lead was short-lived, however, as América came down on the subsequent kickoff and ex-Santos player Diego “El Mago” Valdés struck a long-range shot that Carlos Acevedo saved. Henry Martn, on the other hand, rushed to the rebound and deposited it into the empty net for the equaliser.
América were certain that rapid plays would help confuse Santos’ patchwork defence, so the game became frenzied. Santos, on the other hand, did a good job of having players drop back and assist plug spaces in the defence and restrict passing routes. On offence, Santos attempted to slow things down by being patient with the ball and not being afraid to use the back pass early and often. When Leo Suárez drove down and hit a shot on frame, it paid off. It took a deflection off the back of Néstor Arajo and went in past Ochoa to re-establish Santos’ lead.
In the 20th minute, Fernando Gorriarán was afforded a lot of time and space just beyond the top of the box, and he almost scored. He beat Ochoa with a shot that hit the outside of the post and went out of bounds. Then, in the 26th minute, Valdés struck a bouncing shot off the ground, forcing Acevedo to make a spectacular save. The rest of the half was more slower than the first, with neither team threatening much save for a late shot by (another) ex-Santos player Jonathan “Cabecita” Rodrguez that went wide of the target.
The second half began very calmly, until in the 51st minute, América struck a free kick that Acevedo saved. He promptly threw the ball down the field to Juan Brunetta, who saw Memo Ochoa off his line and got a touch on the ball, but it flew over the top of the crossbar and into the top netting. In the 55th minute, Diego Valdés put Miguel Layn in on goal for América. His shot bounced off Acevedo and hit the post, resulting in a tangle of Layn, Acevedo, and Roni Prieto around the goal line.
Santos, on the other hand, increased their lead in the 63rd minute when they hit América on the counter. Juan Brunetta was played forward by Harold Preciado, and Brunetta put a shot on frame that Memo Ochoa made a diving save on. Preciado, on the other hand, never stopped running and got to the rebound before tapping it in.
In the 68th minute, Roger Martnez played in Brian Rodrguez, who attempted to centre the ball, but Acevedo blocked it with his face, and the ensuing shot flew way off frame. Carlos Orrantia unleashed a rocket in the 72nd minute, forcing Ochoa to make a diving save to punch it out of danger. In the 77th minute, a Miguel Layn cross touched Roni Prieto in the box, causing some debate. The América players insisted it was a handball, but a quick VAR review proved it hit Prieto in the chest and no penalty was awarded, much to the chagrin of the fanatical fans at Estadio Azteca.
Santos defended well but looked to go forward on the counterattack when the opportunity arose. In the 81st minute, Diego Medina had a great opportunity, making a run and taking a solid shot that Ochoa saved. Gorriarán threw a beautiful ball in for Javier Correa in the 85th minute, but he only got a few hands on it before Ochoa pounced. América, on the other hand, equalised in the 86th minute when Layn fired a ball in that reached the head of Roger Martnez. Martnez diverted it, and it deflected off Hugo Rodrguez, bringing the hosts to within one late.
In the 89th minute, América believed they had equalised when Brian Rodrguez sent a ball in that Acevedo touched, but Henry Martn’s subsequent attempt flew way beyond the bar. Acevedo then made another save on a long-range attempt. But América persisted, and in the seventh minute of the allocated six minutes of stoppage time, Federico Vias headed past Acevedo for the equaliser at the death.
América will continue in Mexico City to face archrival Chivas in the Clásico Nacional on Saturday, September 17, while Santos will travel home to face FC Juárez on Sunday, September 18.
Guillermo Ochoa; Luis Fuentes (Salvador Reyes, 52′), Sebastián Caceres, Néstor Araujo, Miguel Layn; Alvaro Fidalgo, Richard Sánchez (Pedro Aquino, 80′); Jonathan Rodrguez (Brian Rodrguez, 64′), Diego Valdés (Roger Martnez, 65′), Alex Zendejas (Federico Vias, 80′
Carlos Acevedo; Carlos Orrantia, Hugo Rodrguez, Roni Prieto, Omar Campos (Cecilio Domnguez, 78′); Leo Suárez (Andrés vila, 68′), Alan Cervantes, Fernando Gorriarán, Juan Brunetta (Aldo López, 77′); Harold Preciado (Diego Medina, 68′), Eduardo
América’s scorers were Henry Martn (8′), Hugo Rodrguez (autogol – 86′), and Federico Vias (90+7′); Santos Laguna’s scorers were Leo Suárez (7′, 16′), and Harold Preciado (63′).
Santos Laguna: Harold Preciado (Yellow – 22′), Hugo Rodrguez (Yellow – 23′), Omar Campos (Yellow – 73′), Eduardo Fentanes (Yellow – 90+1′), Fernando Gorriarán (Yellow – 90+2′), Cecilio Domnguez (Yellow – Full Time)