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Match recap: Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 2, Santos Laguna 3

An absolutely wild one in Querétaro that ended with a Diego Valdés golazo and each side down a player.

Ayrton Preciado #32 of Santos Laguna celebrates after scoring the second goal of his team during the 16th round match between Queretaro and Santos Laguna as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico A21 Liga MX at La Corregidora Stadium on October 30, 2021 in Queretaro, Mexico.
Ayrton Preciado #32 of Santos Laguna celebrates after scoring the second goal of his team during the 16th round match between Queretaro and Santos Laguna as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico A21 Liga MX at La Corregidora Stadium on October 30, 2021 in Queretaro, Mexico.
Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Like we’ve seen in other weeks, Santos took a lead into the half only to let it slip away after the break. This time however they fought and got a bit of magic from El Mago as a Diego Valdés free kick late was enough to get all three points on the road and make the road to the postseason that much easier for Santos. Querétaro meanwhile will most likely need to win out and rely on some help in order to make the postseason.

While the opening couple of minutes were fairly bland, Ayrton Preciado threw a little spice into the mix in the third minute when he took a couple of touches on a throw in and then unleashed a shot that curled inside of the near post that beat Washington Aguerre to give Santos the lead.

Santos almost doubled the lead in the ninth minute when Diego Valdés made a run into the box, drew Aguerre out and went around him and hit a shot, but it was cleared off of the line by a defender. Querétaro had a look at goal in the 13th when Pablo Barrera got a shoulder past his mark and hit a shot on frame. Barrera scuffed the shot however, barely making contact with the ball, and Carlos Acevedo fell on it easily. In the 15th minute Valdés made another run into the box, this time hitting a shot that Erik Vera made a sliding tackle on. Replays showed the ball made contact with Vera’s arm during his tackle, but it was ruled to be incidental and play continued without a VAR review. Valdés and Preciado would link up in the 26th minute however on a nice give-and-go that resulted in Preciado’s second goal of the afternoon.

Three minutes later Gallos had a decent chance on a chance from long range that Carlos Avecedo punched out. The rebound went to an onrushing Querétaro player, but the resulting shot was shanked well wide of its intended mark. In the 42nd minute, Maximiliano Perg went knee-to-knee on Diego Valdés and was shown a yellow card, which set off some pushing and shoving between the sides but cooler heads quickly prevailed. Santos kept the pressure on, but after three minutes of stoppage the brace from Preciado was the difference.

Querétaro wasted no time at the start of the second half trying to get a goal, marching down the field and moving the ball well, however the resulting shot by Jonathan Dos Santos in the box was blocked and the danger cleared away. Querétaro came back and earned a direct free kick at the edge of the box, but Acevedo saw it the entire way and made the save on it. He quickly started the counter, and then at the other end of the field Valdés found a wide open Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre, but his shot went into the stands. Aguirre had a shot a minute later that Aguerre made a fine diving save on.

It wouldn’t hold however as Querétaro got a throw in deep. The ball went into the mixer and wound up being cleared only as far as Bryan Olivera, who tucked a shot just inside of the far post to close the gap to 2-1.

Then three minutes later Dória pulled down Kevin Ramírez in the box and a penalty was awarded. Jonathan Dos Santos converted the penalty and just like that Querétaro was level at 2-2.

Santos had a good chance in the 67th when Gorriarán played a nice ball forward for Aguirre, but his shot was well saved by Aguerre. Dos Santos almost had a brace in the 71st but he pulled his shot on the breakaway well wide of the net. The game was back and forth much like a basketball game with both sides trying to grab the game-winner. In the 84th Maximiliano Perg committed a foul on Valdés and was shown a straight red card, leaving Gallos down a player for the remaining time. Diego Valdés stepped up and hammered the free kick into the top corner to give Santos the late lead.

Things got heated in stoppage when Hugo Rodríguez threw an elbow in a scrum after the whistle. Rodríguez and Washington Aguerre were shown yellow cards, but Rodríguez’ was changed after a VAR review to a red. Santos was able to keep Querétaro at bay long enough to run out the clock and secure three critical points.

Querétaro plays their final match of the season on Thursday, November 4 at Atlas in what might very well decide whether or not they have a postseason. Santos meanwhile has a Thursday evening match in Mexico City against Pumas before returning home to host Atlético San Luis on Sunday evening in the final match of the Grita México 2021 tournament.

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro: Washington Aguerre; Erik Vera (Areli Hernández, 70’), Daniel Cervantes, Maximiliano Perg, Omar Mendoza; Kevin Balanta, Kevin Escamilla (Nicolás Sosa, 39’); Kevin Ramírez, Bryan Olivera, Pablo Barrera (Jefferson Montero, 70’); Jonathan Dos Santos

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo; Omar Campos, Félix Torres, Matheus Dória, Jesús Isijara; Fernando Gorriarán, Alan Cervantes; Ayrton Preciado (Hugo Rodríguez, 73’), Diego Valdés, Juan Ferney Otero (Alberto Ocejo, 78’); Eduardo Aguirre (Ignacio Jeraldino, 79’)

Scoring: Gallos Blancos de Querétaro - Bryan Olivera (54’), Jonathan Dos Santos (60’ - penalty); Santos Laguna - Ayrton Preciado (3’, 26’), Diego Valdés (86’)

Disciplinary: Gallos Blancos de Querétaro - Kevin Ramírez (Yellow - 68’), Maximilano Perg (Red, 84’), Washington Aguerre (Yellow - 90+2’); Santos Laguna - Omar Campos (Yellow - 29’), Guillermo Almada (Yellow - 61’), Ignacio Jeraldino (Yellow - 90+1’), Hugo Rodríguez (Red 90+4’)