Queretaro surprised many by crushing visiting Cruz Azul in their Matchday 3 game at the Estadio Corregidora.
It’s hard to believe that Pedro Caixinha’s team has yet to record their first win of the Apertura 2019. Going into the Estadio Corregidora on Saturday, many thought Cruz Azul would collect their first 3 points of the season. But Queretaro had other ideas.
Los Gallos Blancos manhandled the Cementeros with a brilliant performance from captain Luis Romo who scored twice and contributed on both offense and defense.
The first few minutes of the match saw both teams in full attack mode, pressing high in search of an early opportunity. In minute 18, Queretaro midfielder Romo created a play from his back line, dribbling forward through midfield then feeding striker Ake Arnaud Loba. The Ivorian forward returned it to Romo, who dribbled through two Cruz Azul defenders, cut left as both defenders went right, then blasted a right-footer past Jesus Corona to give the hosts an early 1-0 lead.
That was not going to be the last time Corona had to deal with Romo. Just 15 minutes later, the Gallos Blancos skipper rang the post on a free kick, narrowly missing his second goal.
The 1-0 score held up into the second half, until Romo made another appearance in his team’s offensive third. Romo took advantage of a sloppy trap by Cruz Azul defender Pablo Aguilar, knocking the ball free. He then won the ensuing 50/50 ball to get past the last Cementero defender, then fooled Corona by going near post with his shot.
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The fans were going crazy, but the 2-goal advantage did not last very long. Gallos Blancos defender Jair Pereira added another goal only 2 minutes later, heading home powerfully off a corner kick, sealing the win for Victor Manuel Vucetich’s team. The 3-0 final score truly humbled Cruz Azul and shocked the pundits, no doubt.
Queretaro is second in the standings with 7 points (2-1-0), definitely the surprise team of the tournament so far. Their early performances suggest they must be considered a playoff contender. Los Gallos Blancos stay at home for a Matchday 4 tilt against Pachuca, and they should certainly be favored against the struggling Tuzos.
Cruz Azul should be in panic mode, with poor results through three games, although it is pretty early. Coach Caixinha might have to rethink his line-up now that the Cementeros are 0-2-1 or the team’s fans will quickly lose faith. They visit FC Juarez next Saturday.