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Atlas to win
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Atlas and Querétaro will be desperate for a win when they clash at Estadio Jalisco this week. Both sides have started the season in poor fashion and have just one win between them. With both sides in the bottom three, they know this is the best chance for them to collect all three points.
Atlas should be going in with more confidence as they are the better team on paper – not to forget, the team that did a double last year. Moreover, they have a win this season to their name, while Querétaro are at rock bottom with just two points.
When the two sides met earlier this year, the match was called off in the second half due to crowd violence. The two sets of fans attacked each other, leading to the fight getting out of control and moving on to the pitch. The violent clash reportedly saw as many as 17 fans losing their lives on one of the darkest days in football history. The fans were killed in and around the stadium, leading to Querétaro getting fined and being forced to play behind closed doors for three years.
Atlas were awarded a 3-0 win over Querétaro after the game was called off. They were leading 1-0 after Julio Furch scored in the first half, but as the match could not be completed, Liga MX decided that the away side were given the win.
In the Apertura last season, Atlas registered a comfortable 2-0 win over Queretaro. They dominated the game from the start and did not allow their opponents a single shot on target. At the same time, they took 19 shots, got six on target, and scored two goals – both in the second half to win the game.
Julio Furch and Christopher Trejo got on the scoresheet for the home side, while Queretaro’s Bryan Olivera had his red card rescinded by VAR just before the hour mark. Atlas have lost just once to Queretaro in their last 12 meetings – winning nine times and sharing points twice.
Atlas did not make the best of starts to the season as they drew to Club America in the opening fixture. Neither side could get a goal in the game and had to share points after the goalless draw. The draw was seen as dropped points for reigning champions Atlas.
Things got worse in the next game as they were beaten by Toluca. Playing another game away from home, Atlas were hopeful of traveling back with all three points, but were stunned by the side that failed to qualify for the playoffs in the Clausura earlier this year.
Leonardo Fernández, Fernando Navarro, and Valber Huerta scored in the first 15 minutes of the game, and it was an uphill battle for Atlas from there onwards. Jesús Ocejo pulled one back at the end of the first half, but their next goal came in the 84th minute via Aldo Rocha and only helped in making the scoreline look somewhat respectable.
Atlas finally got their first win of the season when they faced Cruz Azul, and also managed to avenge their Supercopa Liga MX defeat. Jonathan Herrera, Jeremy Márquez, and Julián Quiñones scored for the home side, while goals from Santiago Giménez and Christian Tabó could not help the away side get anything from the game.
The win was expected to kick start the season for Atlas and get them going in the right direction. However, things have not gone to plan, and they have lost their last three matches.
They first lost to Tigres UNAL, where they were unable to get a single shot on target. Atlas managed to have just 26 percent of the ball in the entire game and expectedly did not create a single big chance. They conceded 33 shots, 14 of which were on target, but somehow conceded just two goals.
They did better in the next match against Club Tijuana and kept 63 percent of the ball, but still ended up losing. Atlas took the lead in the 5th minute via Hugo Nervo, but goals from Lucas Rodríguez and Renato Ibarra saw the away side take the lead before halftime.
The score line remained 2-1 until the end, and Tijuana walked away with all three points. Once again, Atlas dominated the game when they faced Santos Laguna but ended up losing. They had 54 percent of the ball and 16 shots on goal, but lost 1-0 after Juan Brunetta scored for the home side in the second half.
Mauro Manotas remains ruled out and is not expected to play this season after his Cruciate Ligament injury.
Querétaro have made their worst start to a season and sit rock bottom of the table. They have not won a single game so far and do look like a team that will not be making the playoffs once again. They finished outside the top 12 in the Apertura last season, which was the same case in the Clausura earlier this year. They have made some decent signings in the window, but so far the players have not managed to impress.
Gabriel Rojas was signed on a free transfer while Jordan Silva, Mario Osuna, Luis Félix, Rafael Fernández, and Clifford Aboagye have also been lured in. David Barbona and Ettson Ayón have been snapped up on loan from Club Tijuana and could prove to be vital transfers this season, although the task is vastly different now than at the start of the season.
Their season started with a 2-0 loss to Pachuca, but that didn’t come as much of a surprise. The home side finished on top of the Clausura table earlier this year and made it to the final too. The scoreline was a respectable one and Queretaro did put on a fight to keep 46 percent of the ball.
Queretaro faced Club Nexaca next, and the away side’s Milton Giménez scored all three goals in a 2-1 defeat for Queretatro. The striker scored at the right end in the 23rd minute before his own goal leveled things up 8 minutes later. He scored the winner for Necaxa in the 83rd minute and finished a unique hattrick as a result.
Queretaro missed an opportunity to get a win when they faced Juarez, the side that finished bottom of the table in the Clausura this year. They drew 1-1 and then went and lost 3-0 to Monterrey in the next game. Queretaro showed fight when they faced CD Guadalajara and came from a goal down twice in the match.
Mario Osuna scored from the spot in the 89th minute to get them their second point of the season, but could not carry the momentum into the next game and they lost 2-1 to Tigres UNAL.
David Cabrera is suspended, but no player is injured for the upcoming game against Atlas.
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|Atlas vs Queretaro
|Thursday, August 4 at 10pm EST
|How to watch
|Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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