Salcedo spoils Santos’ home opener with late goal

Santos winger Juan Otero reacts after Carlos Salcedo scored in added time to deny the Guerreros a win in their season opener. (Photo by Armando Marin/Jam Media/Getty Images)
Santos winger Juan Otero reacts after Carlos Salcedo scored in added time to deny the Guerreros a win in their season opener. (Photo by Armando Marin/Jam Media/Getty Images) /
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Carlos Salcedo celebrates after scoring late against Santos Laguna to deny the hosts a season-opening victory. (Photo by Jos Alvarez/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

Santos Laguna just can’t figure out how to keep Tigres defender Carlos Salcedo off the scoresheet and it cost them yet again.

Salcedo found the net in minute 90+3 to earn the short-handed Tigres a 1-1 draw in their Liga MX season opener at Santos. The goal canceled Brian Lozano’s golazo, denying Pedro Caixinha a victory in his first game back in charge of the Guerreros.

Last season, Salcedo scored in minute 89 of the northern rivals’ regular-season game to give the Tigres a share of the points in a Matchday 3 contest against the visiting Guerreros.

Then late in the second leg of the Tigres-Santos quarterfinal series on Nov. 28, “El Titán” smacked home a volley to eliminate the Guerreros.

Lozano steps up for Santos

With the departure of Diego Valdés (sold to América), Santos needs someone to replace his productivity (6 goals, 6 assists last season) and Lozano appears ready to reclaim his role as top playmaker.

Valdés had taken up the offensive responsibilities after Lozano suffered a broken leg in June 2020, then required surgery in January last year to complete the recovery process. In all, Lozano was sidelined for 16 months, returning to the pitch last July but he was just a shadow of the MVP form he flashed in 2019.

Early in last night’s second half, Lozano worked a nifty give-and-go with Fernando Gorriarán and then blasted a dipping, swerving shot from 26 meters that Nahuel Guzmán could not keep out of his net.

Santos conceded space to the Tigres in the remaining 40 minutes, applying three-quarters pressure while doing their best to push the visitors wide and keep star striker André-Pierre Gignac from seeing the ball in the box.

For the most part, the strategy worked as the Tigres managed to get just 4 of their 20 shots on goal. But a few minutes into added time, Sebastián Córdova fought his way down the right flank before pumping a cross into the box. Salcedo had crept forward and was unmarked at the top of the box. He trapped the pass and got off a quick shot that ricochet off Santos sub Ronnie Prieto and wrong-footed goalie Carlos Acevedo who could only watch as the ball bounded into the net.

Córdova – the Tigres’ splashy new addition – had been ineffective most of the match, but he delivered when it counted most.  The Tigres’ other big acquisition – defender Jesús Angulo – looked solid on the left side of Miguel Herrera’s back line.

Neither of the two players Santos has added during the transfer window – winger Leo Suárez and defender Franco Pizzichillo – were in uniform for the Guerreros. Suárez is recovering from an ankle injury while Pizzichillo just arrived in camp over the weekend.

Next. Pumas, Chivas top Liga MX table. dark

The midweek match was set up after 12 Tigres players tested positive for Covid last week forcing the league to push back the season opener. The Tigres will play their home opener against Puebla on Saturday while Santos travels to Toluca to take on the Diablos Rojos on Sunday.