Cruz Azul looks to claim their first win of the year when they face a very faulty Gallos Blancos defense.
Querétaro opened the Apertura 2019 with two consecutive road games – pulling out two great results I might add. The Gallos Blancos beat Toluca in Estadio Nemesio Diez 2-0, and came home with a tie from Estadio Caliente vs. Tijuana last weekend. Now they head home to play in front of their crowd at the Estadio Corregidora.
Last week in Tijuana, the Gallos struggled in the early goings, as their defenders and midfielders had trouble maintaining possession and couldn’t connect more than 3 passes in a row. Apart from that, against Toluca and Tijuana, Querétaro’s defense suffered big letdowns that – fortunately – weren’t taken advantage of by their rivals. Had a couple of those goals been scored, the results would’ve been very different.
Coach Victor Manuel Vucetich and company have had bright spots as well, especially newcomer Fabián Castillo, who was acquired from Tijuana. Colombian striker Ayron del Valle has also showed promising moments which have not been translated into goals just yet, but if he maintains the quality of play, he’ll get his share. But the main weakness is the defense, just as it was last season.
It also must be noted that Querétaro has struggled at home in previous seasons. Last season they were 3-2-4 and only scored 8 goals.
On the other hand, La Máquina held serve for a scoreless tie in their visit to Necaxa in Week 1. In Week 2, they should have held on to beat Toluca in Estadio Azteca, but a last minute goal by the Mexiquenses gave Cruz Azul their second tie in as many games.
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Against Toluca, los Cementeros showed their ample offensive abilities, especially with crosses. Edgar Mendez and Milton Caraglio have the height to beat pretty much any average defender to a cross in the air. Their problem, which continues to remain, is putting the ball into the back of the net when the opportunity arises.
But there seems to be no doubt that Cruz Azul coach Pedro Caixinha has the better team. So the question here will be if being on the road will affect them, which usually does seem to.
The last time these two teams played in Estadio Corregidora – a year ago, during the Apertura 2018 – Los Gallos defeated La Máquina who were atop Liga MX at that point.
Cruz Azul will get chances early on, no doubt, as Querétaro made a major team overhaul by letting go of major starting pieces last year. So while their squad is still trying to mesh together, along with their faulty defensive habits, La Máquina will have a chance to go up early. Los Gallos tend to struggle mightily when they fall behind. Their mistakes will catch up to them in this game and Cruz Azul will make them pay.