FC Juarez Defeats Queretaro 1-0 to Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
It was far from pretty, but it was enough to get the job done. Bravos de FC Juarez defeated Queretaro late Friday night at Benito Juarez Olympic Stadium by the score of 1-0 in a match were the Bravos struggled with thorough execution over the course of 90 minutes. Still it was enough to pull out the win and keep their hopes very much alive to make the playoffs with one more match to go in the regular season.
The lone goal in the match came in the 81st minute on a header by Dario Lezcano off of a direct kick. William Mendieta had the assist as he took the kick. The goal by Lezcano is his 9th of the season, while the rest of the team has only 6 goals.
As for the match itself, FC Juarez got off to a sluggish start. Their first real threat on goal did not come until the 30 minute of the match. From that point on, however, there is was steady improvement and dominance as the match progressed. The goal came precisely in a moment when the Bravos were showing a significant control in possession despite being a man down due to a red card in the 77th minute that was given to Jose Esquivel.
Another significant factor in the Bravos getting the win was the performance put on by Bravos goalkeeper Enrique Palos. He had several saves over the course of the match that kept Queretaro from scoring a goal.
The win gives the Bravos 18 points on the season as a result of 4 wins, 6 losses and 6 draws. This is good enough for 12th place and in the standings table, the last spot in the playoffs.
After the match, head coach Gabriel Caballero addressed the media and was astute as to how the match developed. Caballero said, "I knew it was going to be a tough, hard fought match. It wasn’t an attractive match. It had scoring opportunities created by both sides but for the most part is was a bogged down match. There is now question we need to play better. Yet there has been matches this season where we have played very good against good teams and lost, and won we we didn’t’ play our best. That’s how soccer can be at times."
At the end of the day, the team from the Borderland has their playoff destiny in their own hands.
A win against Club America at home on Friday would lock them into the playoffs. A draw against America and a draw or loss by both Puebla and Mazatlan would also be good enough to make the playoffs.
If the Bravos lose on Friday, they will depend on the results of the Puebla and Mazatlan matches. Puebla will kickoff two hours prior and finish just before the Bravos match begins. Mazatlan will face Santos on Sunday.
Friday’s is scheduled to kickoff at 830 pm and will be televised nationally on TUDN.