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Mazatlan FC lost their opening Liga MX Clausura game against Atlas FC and are 17th on the table
Santos Laguna won their previous game against Pumas UNAM after dropping all points in their opening fixture
Mazatlan FC are winless in their last five Liga MX encounters. This includes their last four Apertura phase games and their first Clausura encounter.
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Mazatlan FC suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Atlas FC in their first game of the 2023 Clausura season. Interestingly, Mazatlan FC’s last win in Liga MX came against Atlas FC in the 2022 Apertura season when the former clinched a 1-0 win. However, Mazatlan FC have failed to win a single game after that.
Unlike their opponents, Santos Laguna were sharp in the 2022 Apertura season as they finished third on the table. They could not lift the title but were one of the most menacing teams of the tournament. Santos Laguna suffered a shock defeat on day one of the 2023 Clausura season against Tigres UANL.
However, Santos Laguna bounced back and clinched a comfortable 3-0 victory against Pumas UNAM. The Laguneros are expected to build on this momentum and take another three points from their next game against Mazatlan FC.
Back in October 2022, when these two sides met in the 2022 Apertura league phase, Santos Laguna netted three goals past Mazatlan FC at the Estadio Nuevo Corona. The visitors managed to keep Santos Laguna attackers at bay till the final quarter of the game.
Mazatlan FC missed a glorious opportunity to take the lead after Gonzalo Sosa failed to convert his penalty in the 54th minute. In the 73rd minute, Fernando Gorriaran made no mistake from the spot and fired his former side in front before Javier Correa scored two goals in two minutes in the closing stages to seal the three points.
The winless streak will be just one of the concerns for Mazatlan FC as their 2023 Clausura campaign has already gotten off to a disappointing start. In the 2022 Apertura season, Mazatlan FC won only three out of 17 games.
At home, they played 8 games and won two, while on the road, they won only once in nine attempts. In 17 games, Mazatlan FC scored 17 goals and conceded 24. Only 10 out of 17 goals scored came from open play.
Nicolas Benedetti, who was on the scoresheet in the last game, was the club’s joint-top scorer in the 2022 Apertura season with three goals. The striker, who is on loan from Club America, also registered two assists during that time.
Creativity will be expected from Edgar Barcenas and goals will be expected from Benedetti and Eduard Bello. Simultaneously, it will be interesting to see how the Mazatlan FC defense holds up during the 2023 Clausura season.
The 2022 Apertura season concluded in a disappointing fashion for Mazatlan FC with the team dangling in 14th place after missing out on the final playoff spot by just two points. In addition to that, the four pre-season encounters did not bring any joy to the side. Mazatlan FC lost three out of those matches and one ended in a goalless draw.
The opening encounter of Mazatlan FC’s preseason ended in a goalless draw against Tigres UNAL. In the second game, Mazatlan FC suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat against C.D. Guadalajara. After that, Atlas FC handed them a 2-1 defeat before Mazatlan FC lost a five-goal thriller against their next opponent Santos Laguna.
Winger Edgar Barcenas was the top provider for Mazatlan FC during the 2022 Apertura league phase. The Panama international set up four goals. Interestingly, Barcenas did not get on the scoresheet even once in 17 games.
However, in the preseason encounter with Santos Laguna, Barcenas scored both goals for Mazatlan FC as they eventually went on to lose 3-2. The 29-year-old is likely to play a key role when the two sides meet again in the 2023 Clausura this time, with higher stakes.
Santos Laguna finished third in the 2022 Apertura league stage, just five points off the top and two points behind Monterrey, who were in second place. In the playoff quarterfinals, Toluca eliminated Santos Laguna.
However, this time around, Santos Laguna will be eyeing their seventh Liga MX title and their first one after five years. Santos Laguna lifted the 2018 Clausura title after finishing fourth in the league stage and then going on to beat Toluca in the final.
The ambitions will certainly be high this time around as the Santos Laguna squad carries the potential to be winners of Liga MX. However, it will be no cakewalk with several other strong competitors around them.
After bouncing back from a 3-0 loss on opening day with a 3-0 win in their second match, Santos Laguna will be eager to build on the momentum, extend their advantage and stay close to the top spot of the table.
On paper, Juan Brunetta finished the last game without a goal or an assist. However, on the pitch, the midfielder caused several problems for Pumas UNAM throughout the 90 minutes. The Argentine created six chances in the match - the most by any individual player on the pitch.
He completed 89% of his passes and kept all three of his shots on target, forcing the opposition keeper to produce a save. Brunetta was involved in 12 ground duels and won half of those. He also suffered three fouls in the process.
Alan Cervantes and Aldo Lopes were alongside Brunetta in the midfield. While Lopes had a decent game, Cervantes ended up having the least touches of any outfield player in the entire game. The Mexican will be expected to step up his performance in the next match.
After going five Liga MX games without a goal, Diego Medina was on the scoresheet against Pumas UNAM. The winger bagged a brace to end his five-game goal drought in Liga MX that started in the closing stages of the 2022 Apertura season.
The goals have come at a crucial time for Medina, as the 21-year-old finished the 2022 Apertura season with just one goal to his name. He has already doubled that tally after featuring in both the games played so far as he looks to cement his place in the first-choice eleven.
The match against Mazatlan FC will be the perfect encounter for Medina to nab a goal or an assist or both to bolster his personal record for the season and show his coach why he deserves a spot in the starting lineup.
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Teams: Mazatlan vs Santos Laguna
Location: Estadio de Mazatlan
Time: Friday, January 20 at 10 pm ET onwards
How to Watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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