Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Querétaro Fútbol Club
Date: Tuesday, October 29th
Time: 9:00 p.m. Eastern, 8:00 p.m. Central, 6:00 p.m. Pacific, 1:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Referees: REF: Jorge Isaac Rojas Castillo, AR1: Pablo Israel Hernández Luna, AR2: Enedina Caudillo Gómez, 4TH: Mario Humberto Vargas Mata
All-time record: Santos holds the edge all time over all competitions, winning 17 to Querétaro’s 12 with the clubs drawing 12 times. They’ve only met three timesoutside of Liga MX play, with each team winning once and the clubs drawing once in Copa MX play. The last time they met, Santos won 2-1 at TSM back on April 21. Santos was the beneficiary of two own goals while Aké Loba scored for Querétaro.
This match could very well determine who is the superlíder at the end of the season, as Santos Laguna (8W 3D 3L) and Querétaro (8W 3D 3L) face off at La Laguna Comarca on a rare Tuesday night game. Both of these teams sit just one point behind Necaxa (8W 4D 3L), who are on the bye week this week, and one point ahead of León (7W 5D 2L).
Manager Guillermo Almada’s men have utilized the extra motivation they have playing in front of the home crowd. Santos has been dominant at TSM, with a record of 6W 1D 0L and outscoring opponents 23-5. They did however have a bit of a disappointing draw last time out against Monarcas Morelia (6W 2D 6L), causing Almada to say after the match “We didn’t have the effectiveness we should have. I am satisfied with the operation but not with the result.”
Querétaro manager Víctor Manuel Vucetich should be satisfied with the 3-0 result his club got against UNAM Pumas (5W 3D 6L) their last time out. Querétaro looked good against a Pumas club that was (and still is) fighting for a Liguilla berth, absorbing the pressure from Pumas and capitalizing on the opportunities presented to them.
Querétaro has some good youth talent, with 21 year old Ivorian striker Aké Loba leading the team with four goals and Mexican attacking midfielder Marcel Ruiz becoming a fixture in the lineup at just 19 years old. Querétaro has also seen Gil Alcalá grow into the number one goalkeeper job over the past few seasons, and is finally reaping the reward of showing patience with the 27 year old.
While Querétaro possesses the tools to get a result, Santos’ home form can not be underestimated. Santos is going to look hungry after the disappointing result against Monarcas, and I can see Brian Lozano and Eryc Castillo giving fits to wing backs Jaime Gómez and Alonzo Escoboza respectively. This will likely lead to midfielders Ruiz, Clifford Aboagye, and Jordan Sierra being forced to move deeper and wider, isolating Loba. Santos’ center backs Hugo Rodríguez and Matheus Dória will have their hands full with Loba and Ruiz, but if both are on their game they should be able to match up well against the Gallos attack.