Frustration continues to invade Querétaro’s camp. For the third match in a row, they failed to obtain a victory yesterday night despite having the clearest chances and tactically dominating their rivals. Gerk’s approach to the match was sublime, finding a way to make Nicolás Bendetti invisible along with the rest of this dangerous offensive Mazatlán squad. By placing Escamilla and youngster López in the center, with support of Balanta just behind them, they were able to block out that area of the pitch, and the flanks were also well covered with both Mendoza and Rojas equally up to the test, despite Benedetti’s unrelenting attempts.
Other than a free kick toward the end of the first half that keeper Toño Rodríguez misjudged that crashed against the crossbar, the home side were never able to get a full grasp on this one and simply failed to approach Gallos’ goal. This comes as a surprise, considering their two previous matches, defeating Chivas 2-1 at home and their 0-3 thrashing of León last Saturday at Estadio León.
The second half belonged even more to Querétaro, who took the first lead of the match after multiple failed approaches thanks to a beautiful volley by MF Raúl Torres who had just come on a couple minutes prior.
Gallos’ only sin in the second half was giving up a wide open header to Oswaldo Alanís off a corner kick. Ángel Sepúlveda failed to keep Alanís close which allowed the header to occur in the first place, followed by a failed Toño Rodríguez dive, as the keeper found himself moving backward as he started his dive, ultimately affecting his reach and resulting in the ball leaking by for the 1-1 tie. Other than that, Gerk’s squad manhandled Mazatlán the entire second half and in reality, most of the match.
Let’s take a look at Querétaro’s last three matches; Round 7 (@ Atlas): leading 0-1 in the 61st minute with an extra man on the pitch, in total control of the match and close to scoring their second goal, Omar Mendoza foolishly kicked an Atlas player in the 61st minute, earning him his second yellow of the match and making it an even 10 vs 10. Things went completely south from there resulting in a 3-1 loss. Round 8 (vs San Luis): trailing 0-1 since the 56th minute due to an accidental hand ball called a penalty, Gerk’s side fiercely dominated the last 20-25 minutes, creating at least five clear opportunities to not only tie, but take the lead. Upon botching all of them, Angulo’s corner kick laser header in the 90 + 4th minute finally allowed Gallos to score and provided them with a last-gasp point. Round 9 (@ Mazatlán): we know the story; 42 straight winless road games.
In yesterday’s post-game press conference, Gerk was questioned regarding his job security, to which he had the following response: “I always said it from the first day. My resignation is on the table. Whenever the front office accepts it, I’ll leave. I didn’t come to the club for money. I came to lend a hand and regrettably, the results haven’t been there. So, we’ll keep insisting until the front office decides so.” Spoken like a true club idol / heroe. He’s shown a true ability for self-criticism when required, but has also spoken positively when deserved. All in all, unfortunate words from a head coach that arrived with such expectancy and has gotten the best out of a tremendously limited squad, not to mention complicated situation, in so little time.
LA RENUNCIA ESTÁ EN LA MESA— PressPort (@PressPortmx) August 17, 2022
“Con el tema del puesto siempre lo dije: mi renuncia está arriba de la mesa, cuando lo acepte la directiva me iré, yo no vine por plata”. pic.twitter.com/sp0oGVE6pO
The bottom line is that Gerk is the last person responsible for Querétaro’s predicament, but will unfortunately be the first to go if things aren’t turned around quickly. Funny how irony works, isn’t it? The first responsible ones are the ownership group of Grupo Caliente, who have made a laughingstock of this club, barely investing in them over the summer and managing to field all but a Liga de Expansión squad. And the second ones to blame of course, are the players, who have done their best to their capacity, but in the end, aren’t close to making a difference on the pitch, at least not in the top flight of Mexican Soccer. Despite that, Mauro Gerk has managed to keep his beloved club in the fight in nearly every match to say the very least, even to the point of deserving victories in several of them. No matter how this story ends, the truth is Gerk’s gotten a rotten starting hand and deserves a real shot with this club. Impossible to judge any head coach with a team like this one. He’ll look to get his first victory (not to mention, oxygen for another couple games) on Saturday when Querétaro play hosts to their ´brother´club, Tijuana.