Santos Laguna won 3–1 over Toluca in the match.
Santos Laguna won 3–1 over Toluca in the match.

Santos took the lead right away in the game. Harold Preciado looked especially dangerous. He went into the Toluca end a few times, but he wasn’t able to do much with the early ball. Hugo Rodríguez and Juan Pablo Domínguez had a scary accident in the middle of the field in the eighth minute. Their knees hit each other. Both players were checked out on the field and were able to play the next sequence. However, Rodríguez hurt himself on the next play and had to leave the game. After a few minutes, Juan Francisco Brunetta was brought down just outside the box. The free kick that followed, though, was sent well into the stands.

Santos kept up the pressure, and Toluca was happy to do nothing but wait for his chance to hit back. When Duván Vergara took the first shot on goal in the 21st minute, it was easy for Tiago Volpi to stop it. In the 25th, Preciado had a great chance, but Volpi was in the right place and took the shot well. In the next minute, Vergara ran well into the box, but he lost his balance, and the ball went out of play without hurting anyone. In the 29th, Brunetta took another free kick that almost led to a goal, but Félix Torres and Roni Prieto both missed the ball as it went through the box. But in the 35th minute, Jesús Piñuelas gave up another free kick in a dangerous spot.

Brunetta headed the ball in the right place, far enough away for Volpi to miss. But Félix Torres was able to get to it and head it in for the first goal.Santos kept the heat on. Omar Campos tried his luck with a long shot in the 40th minute, but the ball went just wide of the goal. In the last few seconds of the first half, Brunetta ran through the whole Toluca center and sent a pass through the middle to Preciado. Volpi stood his ground again, though, and made the important stop. A minute before halftime, Brunetta sent another free kick into the area. Roni Prieto tried to score with a shot, but it didn’t hook off the post nearly enough, and Santos went into the break with a one-goal lead.

Before the break, Santos picked up where they left off. Early in the second half, a high ball was sent into the area and Emerson Rodríguez had a chance. There was a lot of impact between Rodríguez and the player in the air, but no call was made. Santos’s shot then went out for a corner. There was some back and forth play, but in the 59th minute, Brunetta, Preciado, Alan Cervantes, and then Diego Medina scored his first goal of the season thanks to some nice passes.

After four minutes of hard work, Brunetta finally got his prize when Preciado sent him a nice backheel pass. He then tucked in a shot just inside the far post for his eighth goal of the season.

Toluca tried to get back into the game and put pressure on the other team for what seemed like the first time. Rafael Acevedo did a great job stopping Juan Pablo Domínguez’s long-range shot in the 68th minute. A few minutes later, though, Santos broke down the field, and Emerson Rodríguez got in on Volpi. Volpi had to make another great save. He stopped a long-range blast in the 70th minute. After one minute, Domínguez ran well and took a shot at goal, but Acevedo saw it coming and blocked it well from close range. In the 72nd minute, Marcel Ruiz tried to score, but Acevedo made another great save. In the 77th minute, Javier Correa slid into Maxi Araújo in the box, which made things worse.

A penalty was called for by referee Víctor Cáceres, which made both teams rush to the judge to make their case. Carlos Acevedo stepped away from the fight and stomped on the penalty spot, which made Jesús Angulo push Acevedo. Acevedo then turned around and threw Angulo several yards backwards, which starts the fight. But calmer heads won out in the end, and Cáceres was able to look at the play again with VAR after things had calmed down. The decision was thrown out after a short study of the hit and Acevedo’s actions.

Two minutes into extra time, 11 sent a pass in to 31, who was able to touch it and knock it to Tomás Belmonte. This gave Toluca a goal back. Acevedo lost the clean sheet when Belmonte fired a quick shot past him.

But it was too little, too late, and Santos got three huge points before the last two games of the season. On Wednesday, November 8, Santos will go east to play Rayados in Monterrey. On Saturday, November 11, they will finish the season in San Luis Potosí against Atlético San Luis. Toluca, on the other hand, plays their last game of the season on November 10 against Los Cañoneros in Mazatlán.

Carlos Acevedo plays for Santos Laguna. He starts with Ismael Govea (Raúl López comes on in the 74th minute), Félix Torres, Hugo Rodríguez (Roni Prieto comes on in the 14th minute), Omar Campos; Aldo López, Alan Cervantes; Emerson Rodríguez (Jair González comes on in the 75th minute), Juan Brunetta, Duván Vergara (Diego Medina comes on in the 46th minute), Harold Preciado (Javier Correa comes on in the 74th minute).

Toluca’s starting lineup is Tiago Volpi, Andrés Mosquera (Jean Meneses, 56′), Valber Huerta, Jesús Piñuelas (Brian García, 46′), Abraham Villegas (Pedro Garay, 87′), Jesús Venegas (Jesús Angulo, 46′), Marcel Ruiz, Tomás Belmonte; Juan Pablo Domínguez, Iván López (Robert Morales, 56′), Maxi Araújo.

Santos Laguna scored three goals in the first half through Félix Torres (35′), Diego Medina (59′), and Juan Brunetta (63′); Toluca scored none.

Santos Laguna had three yellow cards: Brunetta (Yellow 7′), Acevedo (Yellow 77′), and Campos (Yellow 89′). Toluca had two yellow cards, one for Jesús Piñuelas (33′) and Maxi Arañjo (79′).

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