Xolos reclaim top spot in dramatic fashion with 1-1 draw at Santos

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Santos Laguna v Cruz Azul - Apertura 2014 Liga MX

Image via ligamx.net

By Shaun

Xolos de Tijuana returned to the top of the Liga MX table after a dramatic ending in Torreon as Santos Laguna and Xolos played out to an entertaining 1-1 draw.

Xolos had the first opportunity to open the scoring in the early stages of the game when Marchesin failed to control a ball, which fell to Alfredo Moreno. But Moreno’s subsequent shot could only find Jose Abella on the line to clear the danger.

Santos had numerous chances at goal in the first half and eventually found a way past Saucedo in the Xolos goal as Diego Gonzalez continued his impressive form in front of goal and headed home for the green and whites on 24 minutes.

Five minutes later, Carlos Izquierdoz squandered a glorious chance to double Santos’ lead after he found himself with space in the six-yard area, only to fail to place his header on target.

Xolos had a handful of chances to level before halftime, closest coming from Alfredo Moreno when his shot beat Marchesin in the Santos goal but failed to beat the post.

The second half consisted of numerous missed chances from both sides; Santos failing to be clinical in front of goal, rounding up a total of 16 shots off target to Xolos 3.

Andres Renteria replaced the injured Djaniny but was unable to find the net despite several chances falling his way in good positions. The Colombian forward has struggled in front of goal recently and continued today with more missed chances to increase Santos’ lead.

Agustin Marchesin pulled off a superb reaction save to keep Xolos from equalizing late on. The Argentinian has shown his quality since arriving from Lanus and is proving to be a vital play for Santos.

However, not long after, Xolos got their equalizer in the 93rd minute. Santos’ defense failed to clear their lines, which allowed Argentinian forward Gabriel Hauche to score his 3rd goal of the Clausura.

But the drama wasn’t over yet. Santos pushed for a last minute winner as Marchesin nearly proved to be an asset in front of goal as well as in goal when he came close to scoring a dramatic winner for Santos in the very last seconds of the game but was denied by the impressive Xolos stopper, Cirilo Saucedo.

From the resulting corner, Santos seemed to have found the winner they so desperately searched for as Diego Gonzalez placed a header into the top corner, only to be denied by the fingertips of Saucedo once again.

Gonzalez and others were convinced the ball had crossed the line, but the officials did not agree.

At the final whistle, Santos will be disappointed with the result as they seemed to have had the game won, a major setback in their push for a place in Liguilla.

Meanwhile, Xolos will be happy to come away with a point as this result puts them back into first-place, ahead of Veracruz.

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About Shaun Driscoll

Based in England, when not busy watching Santos Laguna win titles in the early hours of the morning, he is busy complaining about Everton.