Toluca are sitting 6th in the table and are into the playoffs this season. They are just three points behind 5th placed Tigres UNAL, but the goal difference is bound to be too much for them to overcome.
They are up against Queretaro in the final match and will aim to give the fringe players a chance. They will not finish higher in the table, and the lowest they can fall is 9th.
However, both teams are on a winless run and have not won any of their last five matches. Toluca have lost two and drawn three games, while Queretaro have lost thrice and drawn two times.
The last two meetings between these two sides have ended in 1-1 draws, and it would not be a surprise if the score line is repeated for the third time. With teams in poor form and a possible reshuffle for the home side, there is a chance of all players struggling to hit their best and end up canceling each other out on the pitch.
The last time Toluca defeated Queretaro was back in the 2021 edition of Clausura. They went behind in the 24th minute after Ángel Sepúlveda scored from the spot for the away side. But a quickfire double from Kevin Castañeda and Alexis Canelo helped them bounce back and take the lead seven minutes later.
Michael Estrada sealed the win with the third goal in the 63rd minute, and they saw things out with ease. Queretaro were handed a penalty in the 89th minute by the referee, but VAR ruled it out, and the chances of a comeback were squashed.
The 2020 edition of Apertura was the last time Queretaro managed to get a win over Toluca. They took the lead in the 13th minute via Fernando Madrigal, while Hugo Silveira doubled the lead 7 minutes later from the spot.
Luis García’s own goal in the early stages of the second half made things better, while Ángel Sepúlveda scored the fourth in the 69th minute to seal the three points. Javier Güemez pulled one back for Toluca in the 77th minute, but that turned out to be just a consolation at the end.
Toluca have sealed the playoff spot this season, but will be ruing their chances of getting into the top 4. They started the season extremely well, but slipped away at the end.
Marcos Ignacio Ambriz Espinoza’s side managed to collect 20 points from their first 10 matches of the season and were the favorites to finish in the top 4 at that point. However, things have gone south since then, and they have failed to pick up a single win.
They had lost just once in the first 10 games, but have been beaten thrice in the last 7 matches. With just 4 points from those games, they have slipped to 6th in the table and will not be able to finish higher.
To make things worse, three of their losses this season came against clubs who were below them in the league table. The first loss came at the hands of Club America in game week three, and they are now set to finish on top of the table, as long as they manage a win on the final day, or Monterrey drop points.
Pachuca and Tigres UNAL defeated Toluca in the last five matches, and those points helped them move above in the table. Both sides were below Toluca when they met, but managed to get the wins and ease past in the table.
Making things worse for Toluca were the draws in the last four games. They were held by Guadalajara, who are 8th in the table, while Pumas UNAM and Mazatlan, who are struggling this season, also managed to get points off them with draws in the last two matches.
Queretaro are once again set to miss out on playoffs and will be only playing for pride on the last day of the season. They have lost 9 of their 16 matches in Apertura and are still at the rock bottom of the table.
They have managed to get just one win this season and that came at home to Club Tijuana. Ángel Sepúlveda sealed the win in the 92nd minute of the match, after Pablo Barrera scored in the 3rd minute of the game to hand them the lead. The win was also the only time Queretaro kept a clean sheet this season, and they will be aiming to go out on a high.
Queretaro can finish 2nd from the bottom this season and not any higher, but that itself would be a huge achievement given the season they have had. Surprisingly, if they do manage to get the win on the final day and move away from the bottom, they will be finishing ahead of last season’s Apertura and Clausura winners, Atlas!
The defending champions are just a point ahead in the table as they have managed just two wins this season. Atlas have lost more games than Queretaro this season – 10 – the most in Apertura.
Another surprising stat this season in Apertura is that Queretaro do not have the worst defense despite being at the rock bottom of the table. They have conceded 31 goals, while 10th placed Cruz Azul have conceded 33 times!
Atlas, Club Tijuana, Juarez FC, and Atletico de San Luis have scored fewer goals, while Mazatlan have matched the 17-goals tally.
The biggest issue for Queretaro this season has been individual errors as they have cost them dearly. The bottom-placed side have made 5 errors that directly led to goals, while also conceding 4 penalties.
The midfield has not been able to control possession and their pass success rate this season is a mere 77%, with the ball possession just below 47% on average. While Queretaro sit back and defend, they have managed to attack on the counter just twice this season as the buildup has been slow. The woodwork has not been in their favor too, as four shots have come off the post this season.
|Teams||Toluca vs Queretaro|
|Location||Estadio Nemesio Diez|
|Time||Sunday, October 2 at 1.30 pm ET onwards|
|How to watch||Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and
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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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