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La Corregidora, a nightmare for league bigs

Four big clubs have fallen thus far in Gallos Blancos’ stadium in this football year

Queretaro v Pumas UNAM - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Querétaro have done it again. For the fourth time since August, they’ve defeated one of the ‘bigs’ in their home stadium. Yesterday night they did it convincingly by a 2-0 final, making Pumas look like a lower tier club. Antonio Valencia led the way with his exquisite technique, assisting on the second goal, and with players like Kevin Ramírez on the left flank, Gurrola on the right, and Ángel Sepúlveda down the middle, Gallos looked way sharper than Lillini’s squad.

With the victory, Querétaro have now won two straight and find themselves tied for 3rd overall with Rayados and Tigres after three rounds, although the former have one game pending. And thanks to those two victories, they’ve managed to keep pace with league-leaders Toluca and Santos, who are both just one point in front of ‘Pity’ Altamirano’s squad. And more than looking ahead to a possible playoff birth, this streak has given Gallos an improtant breather in the dreaded relegation zone, where they are fighting six other clubs in a heated race to stay out of the bottom 3, which would all pay a big fine, although Atlas seem the top candidates to pay the biggest price of all.

However, what Querétaro did yesterday isn’t something new; not this year at least. Since the start of the Guard1anes 2020 season, Querétaro have played a total of 10 home games. They have a record of 5W, 2D, 3L in that span. But the impressive fact isn’t the five victories; it’s who they’ve beaten. Back in Round 4 last season, still searching for their first victory, they held red-hot Cruz Azul scoreless as they won that game 1-0. Just four days later, they played hosts to the other Estadio Azteca occupant, pouncing on them 4-1. And they could’ve scored many more had they been a bit more on point.

Round 8 featured another historically successful squad; Toluca. They had just seen their 3-game win streak come to and end in Puebla the week before, and were looking to rebound against a weak Querétaro squad predominantly made up of Second Division players, or so they thought. They were absolutely shown up by Alex Diego’s squad, who repeated a 4-1 victory at home for the second consecutive time. However, they wouldn’t win another game for the rest of the season.

Their fourth home win came last week on a last minute long-distance beauty by Francisco da Costa against an Atlas team who would more than likely be playing in the Liga de Expansión next year if they weren’t protected by the horrendous no relegation rule. And finally, their fifth win came last night against the only other Mexico City-based team they had yet to face at home, Pumas. Gallos haven’t won much this year, but when playing hosts to the bigger and better clubs, they’ve risen to the occasion. Querétaro now look ahead to Round 4, where they face yet another ‘big’. This time, they visit Cruz Azul, as they continue to seek out their first road win of the football year.