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Match recap: Santos Laguna 0, Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 2

Santos struggles early and finds their footing, but two late goals give Querétaro their second straight win in Torreón.

Players of Queretaro leave the field after the first half during the 1st round match between Santos Laguna and Queretaro as part of the Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on July 2, 2023 in Torreon, Mexico. Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

The first game of the season is always a strange one. Teams try to come out on the front foot and get the season off to a good start while simultaneously battling rust and figuring out where the new players fit into everything. Both Querétaro and Santos had ups and downs throughout the match, but the visitors were able to come up with two great goals to down Santos 2-0 in Querétaro’s second straight win in Torreón in just over two months.

Both teams started out the match a little pensive, with the aforementioned pre-season rust sill evident on some plays. It took until the ninth minute of play for the first dangerous chance of the match when Pablo Barrera teed up a shot from about 20 yards out, however it went well over the crossbar. A minute later Joaquín Montecinos got a stop on the defender and hit a shot on frame, but Gibran Lajud did well to parry it wide. Then at the other end in the 12th minute Harold Preciado was sprung on a break, but Guillermo Allison came off of his line to challenge him. The two players collided, with Preciado going head-over-heels and Allison slamming his head onto the turf. After being attended to by the physio staff and given a concussion protocol, Allison was ok and play continued.

Santos did well to keep the ball in play and moving, rarely missing an opportunity to push players forward and chase the game. Querétaro meanwhile were more methodical in the build up, however often times their passes toward the center forwards were well-defended. Both teams spent copious amounts of time trying to create something on offense, but neither were able to generate much pressure during the first half of the match.

The second half was largely a continuation of the first, with neither side getting much of an advantage. Aldo López had a good shot from distance in the 53rd minute that deflected just wide of the net. In the 58th minute, a ball was lobbed into the box but it was easily saved by Lajud.

Santos were starting to get the better of the possession, and Querétaro resulted to physical play of varying degrees of legality. Dória had a header off of a corner kick in the 76th minute that Allison had to make a diving stop on, A minute later off of a corner kick, Dória once again put his head onto the ball but this time it went just wide of the net. The fortunes turned however in the 80th minute, when Eduardo Lértora headed in a corner kick that caught Gibran Lajud flat-footed.

Santos desperately tried to get a tying goal, pushing players forward at every opportunity. Jair González had a shot in the 87th from distance but Allison was able to stop it easily. Then in stoppage time Santos conceded a free kick deep. Camilo Sanvezzo hit a beautiful arcing free kick that beat Lajud to put the game on ice.

Santos heads on the road for a game at Puebla on Friday, July 7 while Querétaro heads home to host América on Sunday, July 9.

Santos Laguna: Gibran Lajud; Raúl López, Félix Torres, Matheus Dória, Omar Campos; Alan Cervantes (Pedro Aquino, 82’), Aldo López (Santiago Muñoz, 82’); Diego Medina (Jair González, 72’), Juan Brunetta, Emerson Rodríguez (Duván Vergara, 63’); Harold Preciado (Javier Correa, 72’)

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro: Guillermo Allison; Omar Mendoza, Óscar Manzanárez, Emanuel Gularte, Jonathan Perlaza; Kevin Escamilla, Eduardo Lértora, Jordan Sierra (Marco García, 74’); Joaquín Montecinos (Camilo Sanvezzo, 65’), Ángel Sepúlveda (Jonatán Torres, 84’), Pablo Barrera (Raúl Sandoval, 84’)

Scoring: Santos Laguna - None; Gallos Blancos de Querétaro - Eduardo Lértora (80’), Camilo Sanvezzo (90+5’)

Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Diego Medina (Yellow - 45+3’), Santiago Muñoz (Yellow - 89’), Raúl López (Yellow - 90+4’), Duván Vergara (90+4’); Gallos Blancos de Querétaro - Kevin Escamilla (Yellow - 39’), Guillermo Allison (Yellow - 66’), Omar Mendoza (Yellow - 67’), Camilo Sanvezzo (Yellow - 73’)