As the old adage goes, sports aren't fair. FC Juárez learned that lesson the hard way this afternoon against Querétaro. Despite being reduced to 10-men in the 6th minute, los Bravos were the better side throughout the vast majority of the match. Unfortunately the squad from the northern frontera were made to rue some missed opportunities as Querétaro scored two goals in the last 10 minutes of the match to steal all three points.
The match got off to a quick start with FC Juárez firing two shots on target from outside the area in the first two minutes. While neither shot was particularly challenging for the Querétaro keeper, los Bravos showed some positive buildup play to create space for the shots.
The match was flipped on its head when Ángelo Sagal was shown a red card (following a VAR review) in the 6th minute for an unintentionally hard tackle that saw Sagal’s studs smash into the upper thigh of a Querétaro player as he tried to control an errant pass. Sagal never saw the Querétaro player approaching and as a result unintentionally committed the foul. Sagal’s ejection extended Querétaro’s streak of matches with opponents being shown a red card to three. Through the first five matches of the season, los Gallos Blancos have seen the opposition shown a red card in four.
For much of the first half, Querétaro kept the hosts pinned back in their own half as they attacked in droves. For their part, FC Juárez was up to the task of defending their goal. Each and every time that los Gallos Blancos tried to cross a ball into the area or get off a shot it seemed that there was a defender ready to repel the danger. As a result of this, the score was level at 0-0 going into the halftime break.
In the second half, it was the hosts who were the better team. Instead of being pinned back in their own half and unable to string together more than three passes, FC Juárez were able to build several dangerous attacks of their own. The majority of these attacks were built around the speed of Mauro ‘El Rayo’ Fernández on the wing. The Argentine was able to get passed his defenders and onto the ball in dangerous positions on several occasions. Fernández probably would have generated even more dangerous plays had it not been for some tactical fouls around the halfway line from Querétaro midfielders.
In the 80th minute, Fernandez was fouled just outside of the Querétaro area after a dangerous run down the wing. Edy Brambilla fired in a free kick that was met by Victor Velázquez - but the Paraguayan’s header went just over the cross bar and out for a free kick.
Querétaro found themselves in the lead just three minutes later as Enrique Triverio scoured a tap-in after a Alonso Escoboza shot from outside the area deflected off the crossbar and fell kindly to his feet in the 83rd minute. Just four minutes later Ayron del Valle scored to cap off a quick counterattack and put the match out of reach. In the end, the visitors punished FC Juárez for their indiscipline and wasted opportunities throughout the match.
With the victory los Gallos Blancos find themselves atop the Liga MX table on 13 points with a goal difference of +8. This is also the best start to any season by a Querétaro squad since the 1940s.