It’s not going well for Portuguese coach Pedro Caixinho on his return to Santos Laguna.
The club’s 2014/15 Mexican Cup winning coach returned to the club in December and has presided over a poor start to the 2021/22 Clausura championship.
Last night in Torreon they maintained their winless start to the season, suffering a heaviest home defeat in almost 8 years. Santos lost 1-4 to Necaxa who came into the game with a blank points column, and off the back of a 0-4 home defeat to Monterrey.
In their three games to date Santos have taken the lead in each, yet failed to win any, a draw at home to Tigres on opening day the only point collected so far.
Last night’s game was going along fairly calmly until the 18th minute when Jordan Carrillo was shown a straight red card for stepping on Idekel Domínguez’ leg. While it didn’t look intentional, it was a clear card and Santos were a player down with over an hour to go.
Seventy-two minutes is a long time to play with a man down, but Santos’ new conservatism looked like it might reap dividends when they forged ahead on 35 mins. The ball was returned into the box by Gorriarán and Colombian centre-back Felix Torres thundered in a header.
They were pegged back on the stroke of half-time when Araos returned Acevedo’s parry into the net.
Santos’ spirited opening to the second period was undone on 52 mins when Torres failed to cut out a cross and Milton Gimenez applied the finish. 2-1, Necaxa.
The goal gave the visitors impetus and despite the best efforts of captain Doria to repel all that Necaxa could throw, further goals arrived in the 75th and 84th minutes to complete a miserable night for Montreal’s Champions League opponents.
Former Rangers (Scotland) manager Caixinho has until February 6th to get things right, LigaMX closing for the international break, and must find something when his team faces unbeaten Atlas in Guadalajara to begin rebuilding confidence.
The only other outing for Santos before meeting Montreal comes three days before the Champions League first leg tie, against Club America at home.
The Verdiblancos currently sit 16th with the worst goal difference in LigaMX. Only Mazatlan and Atletico San Luis lie beneath them.
With Santos’ Clausura ambitions slipping away even at this very early stage, Montreal can expect a re-doubling of effort and focus from their LigaMX opponent who’ll now view Champions League as their best chance of landing short-term silverware.