If the Potros are relegated at the end of the season, it won’t be for a lack of effort. Still sitting at the bottom of the Tabla de Cociente, Atlante came out looking to take advantage of Atlas’s slip up last night, and they did.
Querétaro’s regular goalkeeper, Edgar Hernández, was benched following a series of game-losing errors, but his young replacement, Luis García, committed a mistake of his own to gift Michael Arroyo his first goal of the night in the 16th minute. With a high ball coming into the box, García called off his defender but instead of attacking the ball and grabbing it out of the air, he waited for the ball to come to him. That allowed Arroyo to nip in, scoop the ball away, and push it into the empty net.
Atlante stayed on top for the rest of the first half. Querétaro did look threatening when they went forward, but they didn’t manage to get forward very often. Ignacio Ambriz made two halftime substitutions, which included the long awaited debut of Camilo Sanvezzo. The Brazilian joined the Gallos Blancos from the Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS, where he was last season’s Golden Boot winner.
The changes seemed to pay dividends when William tied the game shortly after the start of the second half. In the 54th minute, William played a give-and-go at the top of Atlante’s box and shot over the onrushing Eder Patiño to make it 1-1.
However, the 1-1 scoreline wouldn’t last. Three minutes later, Atlante retook the lead when Arroyo ran on to a pass, took it into the box, and shot. His third goal of the night would come just two minutes after that, and it was the pick of the lot. Arroyo passed the ball to Roberto Gutiérrez, who backheeled it back into the Ecuadorian’s path. Without missing a step, Arroyo hit a long-distance shot with a curve on it that beat García, who got his hand to it but was unable to keep it out.
Arroyo would score his fourth goal of the night in the 73rd minute with a free kick that beat García with an unexpected bounce.
With the 4-1 lead, Atlante looked like they would cruise to an easy win. William scored his second of the night, assisted by Sanvezzo, in the 79th minute, to make the scoreline slightly more respectable. For a few minutes after that goal, the Gallos seemed to be on the verge of scoring a third, but Atlante weathered the storm and retook control of the game.
With the 4-2 win, Atlante reaches 15 points, while Querétaro remains on 10. More importantly for the Potros, Atlante is now just three points – one win – behind Atlas in the relegation standings.
Atlante: Eder Patiño, Luis Gerardo Venegas, Mauricio Romero, Salustiano Candia, Martín Galmarini, Daniel Guerrero, Manuel Viniegra (Paúl Uscanga 83′), Manuel Alejandro Vela, Michael Arroyo, Ángel Sepúlveda (Carlos Acosta 68′), Roberto Gutiérrez (Luis Rodríguez 89′).
Querétaro: Luis García, Roberto Carlos Juárez, Mario Osuna, George Corral, Gil Burón, Gerardo Espinoza, Diego de la Torre (Rodolfo Vilchis 62′), Ricardo Jesús (Camilo Sanvezzo 46′), William, Luis Loroña (Moisés Velasco 46′), Amaury Escoto.