Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Querétaro Fútbol Club
Date: Sunday, July 2nd
Time: 9:05 p.m. Eastern, 8:05 p.m. Central, 7:05 p.m. local, 6:05 p.m. Pacific, 3:05 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Referees: REF: Abraham De Jesús Quirarte Contreras, AR1: Michel Ricardo Espinoza Ávalos, AR2: Michel Caballero Galicia, 4TH: Edgar Ulises Rangel Araujo, VAR: Ismael Rosario López Peñuelas, AVAR: Katia Itzel García Mendoza
All-time record: Santos holds the edge all time over all competitions, winning 21 to Querétaro’s 14 with the clubs drawing 14 times. They’ve only met three times outside of Liga MX play, with each team winning once and the clubs drawing once, all in Copa MX play. In the last meeting, Querétaro pulled off an upset in Torreón by getting goals from Kevin Escamilla and Ettson Ayón deep in stoppage time to down Santos 2-0 in what turned out to be Eduardo Fentanes’ final game at Santos.
While it feels like the Liga MX season just ended, the teams are back in action after a month off as Santos and Querétaro get their respective seasons underway. Santos largely stood pat, with Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre being the biggest departure for the club, which also saw Óscar Manzanárez, Rivaldo Lozano, and Cecilio Domínguez depart for Querétaro, Atlas, and Cerro Porteño respectively. Santos also brought back Ismael Govea after a stint in Tijuana, acquired Pedro Aquino from América, Duván Vergara from Rayados, and brought back Beto Ocejo from Atlas.
The core of the team however remained in tact, and Pablo Repetto’s starting eleven should look familiar to Santos fans, although Aquino and Govea might get the nod at defensive midfielder and right back, respectively. Vergara also might get a look at right wing, however he’s only played 353 minutes in the past two seasons with Monterrey and Javier Correa and Diego Medina both played well there last season.
Querétaro meanwhile lost a couple of good players from last season’s squad, including goalkeeper Gil Alcalá and midfielder Kevin Balanta. They did however manage to have a decent offseason, bringing inRaúl Sandoval and Emanuel Gularte on defense, Jordann Sierra in midfield, and Lisandro López, Joaquin Montecins, and Camilo Sanvezzo up top, which should help them improve on a league-worst 16 goals scored last season.
Querétaro may be seeking a bit of revenge too, since Santos got into the Liguilla last season thanks to Querétaro’s ineligibility stemming from the tragic riots at Estadio Corregidora in March 2022. Los Gallos finished 10th in the table and may feel like they’ve got something to prove.
Both teams have reason to be optimistic heading into this season, especially considering how last season went for both of them. It’s now up to them to see to it that the promise of the new season is fulfilled.