Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Querétaro Fútbol Club
Date: Sunday, April 8th
Time: 7:00 p.m. Eastern, 6:00 p.m. Central, 4:00 p.m. Pacific, 11:00 p.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Referees: REF: Fernando Guerrero Ramírez, AR1: Christian Kiabek Espinosa Zavala, AR2: Karen Janett Díaz Medina, 4TH: Roberto Rios Jácome
After a disappointing result on the road last week against Atlas (3W 1D 9L), Santos Laguna (8W 2D 3L) returns home to Torreón to host Querétaro FC (4W 4D 5L) in the final match of Week 14. Going into the week, Santos is just one point behind Toluca (8W 3D 2L) for the Superlider while Los Gallos Blancos sit in eleventh place, however just one point out of a spot in the Liguilla.
Santos will still be without Néstor Araujo, who is still recovering from a knee injury suffered while on international duty with Mexico. Araujo told the media earlier in the week that he was “mentally very good, very strong” and that his recovery was still on track for him to hopefully return in time for the Liguilla in May.
In Araujo’s place will be 33 year old Gerardo Alcoba. The former Pumas captain looked decent in the match against Atlas, however there did seem to be some times where Alcoba and Santos captain Carlos Izquierdoz weren’t on the same page.
Two men who were on the same page were forwards Julio Furch and Djaniny Tavares. When Djaniny was subbed on in the second half of the match, Santos looked much more dangerous. While Djaniny was unable to add to his league-leading 12 goals, Furch had a brace in the losing effort. If Djaniny can start and go for 60-75 minutes, it will bode very well for Los Guerreros.
Querétaro on the other hand should not be underestimated. Los Gallos Blancos won last week against Puebla (5W 2D 6L) and have won three and drawn one on the road this season. They’re also stacked with offensive talent, with forwards Edson Puch, Camilo Sanvezzo, and Matías Britos each having Liga MX seasons where they scored eight goals or more. Puch currently leads the team with five goals, while Camilo has three and Britos one.
Querétaro also has talented players such as right wing Yerson Candelo and goalkeeper Tiago Volpi , but they have not been able to pull it all together for good portions of the season. If they can exploit the not-quite-there-yet chemistry between Alcoba and Izquierdoz and can play the 90 minutes their roster indicates they have the talent to play it could be real trouble for the hosts.