26 de Octubre del 2017 11:42 am.
Wednesday night's game in Copa MX against Necaxa wasn't only the group's third consecutiuve win in all competitions, it was a testament to the saying "Un Guerrero Nunca Muere."
After a slow start to the season and a coaching change more than halfway throughout, los Guerreros have bounced back and recorded three consecutive wins, scoring seven goals in the process in Liga and Copa. The team is showing signs of life, and is still within contention of qualifying for a playoff spot with four games remaining in the regular season.
Here are three takeaways from last night's exciting win in the Cup competition.
1. Santos' use of youth products is a force to be reckoned with
Already leaders of their group in the Group Stage, this team of warriors started their Round of 16 game with almost half the team coming from Santos' youth system. Homegrown player Gael Sandoval assisted in both goals scored in the second half. While the second goal came off a corner kick, it was perfectly weighted and positioned for Ulises Rivas to head a brilliant ball from his near post into the top left corner.
In five games, los Guerreros have used between three and six youth products in the starting lineup and debuted two players from the U20 team: Jesus Ocejo and Jesus Angulo.
Ronaldo Cisneros leads the competition in goals scored with three, after scoring a hat trick against FC Juarez in the final game of the group stage, and goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo has only allowed one goal in five games.
2. There is a balance and strong level of competition within the roster
Upon arrival to the team, head coach Robert Dante Siboldi - who has led Santos' Fuerzas Basicas system as director for three years and has plenty to show for it - has declared on multiple occasions that he is working to increase competition within the team and since he's taken over, he's seen that level rise. The team works consistently in pairs during daily training sessions and recently players have shown that despite not playing the full 90 minutes in Liga MX, they can be just as impactful as starters in Copa MX.
3. Santos still in the race for the Liga MX playoffs, Copa MX a great confidence builder
With the squad showing strong signs of life in recent games, its dominant showing in Copa helps to build confidence among the players and helps with team camaraderie. Players who don't typically go 90 minutes in league play get the competitive minutes they need in cup play, and the results themselves help the team push forward with the motivation to add an extra trophy to the case. Los Guerreros will face Monterrey in the quarterfinals at the end of October, which will serve as a good precursor to their game against the same Rayados team in league play one week later. A win in the league at Monterrey would help los Guerreros reach their goal of adding three more points to rise in the table and qualify for the Liguilla.