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Jonathan Rodriguez the stoppage time hero to propel Santos to 1-0 win over Leon

28 de Agosto del 2016 6:49 pm.

Los Guerreros and Los Esmereldas de Leon played to an eventful 1-0 game in favor of Santos, with two red cards for Leon and a stoppage time goal by Jonathan Rodriguez.

The teams opened the first half of week seven’s match aggressively, with Freddy Hinestroza taking the first opportunity to attack and connect with Rodriguez, missing the opportunity.

Leon found a five minute window of opportunity via Mauro Boselli, Juan Cuevas, and Diego Novaretti, but Jose Javier Abella's defensive efforts did well to quell the threats, and an attentive Agustin Marchesin made four saves - two of which were in rapid succession - off shots by Boselli and Novaretti, to keep things level at 0-0.

Santos found its best chance inside 30 minutes when Nestor Araujo took the ball upfield and laid off a pass to Bryan Rabello, who manuevered his way around a defender and found Rodriguez in the box. The Uruguyayan forward sent an angled shot from the left toward goal, but goalkeeper William Yarbrough reached out to make a left-handed save.

In the 38 minute, Rodriguez forced the Texas-born goalkeeper into another save with a shot from inside the area. Two minutes before the halftime whistle, Hinestroza sent a ball into the center of the area looking for Rodriguez, but the ball was deflected for a corner kick, resulting in a cleared ball by Leon.

During the second half, los Guerreros came out in the attack, with Hinestroza again opening things up with a chance from the wing into the area, but couldn’t connect with Rodriguez in time.

Five minutes after kickoff, Efrain Velarde knocked down Rabello with force on a run of play and was sent off, forcing Leon to play with 10 men.  Hinestroza took control of the ball a minute later and teamed up with Carlos Izquierdoz in the 56 minute for a chance to  get on the board but the Colombian’s header was skied over goal.

A minute later, de la Torre made his first sub of the game, sending in Djaniny Tavares for Mauricio Cuero looking to add some fresh legs in the attack. The African made an impact shortly thereafter, sending a powerful shot just wide, bouncing off the LED boards behind goal.

At minute 64, Rabello came off for Martin Bravo in another attempt to bolster the attack and open scoring. Bravo and Djaniny connected almost instantly, with Djaniny sending Bravo’s pass high over goal.

Gael Sandoval replaced Hinestroza in midfield as the final sub for los Guerreros in the 71 minute, as Santos gained strength and started to dominate in the attack. Bravo and Djaniny controlled the ball and pushed forward on three occasions, sending their shots just wide or into the side netting.

Leon found themselves down to nine men just before stoppage time was announced, when Carlos Guzman was shown a red for a hard foul. Rodriguez’s subsequent free kick was sent just high over the crossbar, but los Guerreros continued to persist throughout stoppage time until they finally found their goal. Bravo controlled a ball down the right wing and passed centrally to Djaniny at the top of the area who got a foot on the ball but lost possession in his attempt. Rodriguez was there to pick up the ball and fired into the back of the net past Yarbrough for the eventual game winner.

With the international break following, los Guerreros will return to league play on Saturday, September 10 against newly-promoted Necaxa in Aguascalientes.