CF Pachuca defeated Club Santos Laguna 2-0 in the first semifinal game of the Clausura 2014 of La Liga MX on Wednesday at the Hidalgo Stadium. The Tuzos will take the two goal advantage into the TSM Modelo Stadium this weekend as they try to dispose of the laguneros in their search for their sixth league title.
Pachuca dominated the game from the start, but also had luck on their side when many of Santos’ shots hit the posts to prevent the ball from entering Oscar Perez’ net. The home defense was key to keeping Perez’ net clean stopping anything Oribe Peralta and Carlos Darwin Quintero could throw at them.
The Tuzos would break the net in the final minute of the first half. Santos goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez lost sight of the ball close to his near-post in a set-piece. All he could do is watch Diego de Buen’s shot fly past him for the 1-0.
The second goal also came off a set-piece. Hugo Rodriguez put the ball past Sanchez in the 64th minute to double Pachuca’s lead to 2-0. With an effective control of the pitch, the Tuzos managed to keep the result going into Saturday’s game in Torreon.
While Santos showed some signs of life during the game, Pedro Caixinha’s team could not break through the defense. The Portuguese coach’s team had a pair of vital shots but could not penetrate the net. He mentioned that the game is won by goals, not the number of shots taken, or shots stopped by the keeper. But he is hopeful to remount the difference in Torreon.
“I know it is difficult, but I will not stop trying, we have to look for it,” Caixinha said after the game. “My mission is to move forward. If you want to win, you have to show that from the start. I like how we react when we are behind, but in the last five or six months I have wondered why we cannot accomplish this. Football is the moment; there are no even games. If you play like you played today, forget it and Sunday we go on vacation. But if things change, Sunday night we prepare for the final.”
The 2-0 result is considered a “devious result” since many teams have led and then lost or drawn a game in the final minutes to an inspired team. However, in this environment, a goal from Pachuca can definitely complicate things for Santos. The “Mexican hoops” would need to score four goals in order to reach the finals if Pachuca manages to score one goal.