The Liga MX Final has arrived. Here is your preview.
6. Queretaro vs. 8. Santos Laguna
A win on Sunday would be enough to catapult Victor Manuel Vucetich as the most winning manager in the history of Mexican soccer since the Liguilla was first started. His current tally of an impressive five league titles can only be matched by one other manager in history.
His season with Queretaro started in late February when the team was sitting 15th in the table. After three months, Queretaro now has the chance of winning their first ever title in their history. On a personal level, “La Sexta” would be the perfect culmination to Queretaro’s fairy-tale season under “King Midas”.
For Santos Laguna, on the other hand, a win would provide vindication for Pedro Caixinha and his critics. The Portuguese manager was close to losing his job earlier in the season, but he is finally paying dividends for Los Guerreros.
Caixinha arrived to the Mexican soccer scene after receiving much praise from the eccentric Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho. Criticized for his tactics in the past, his victory over Chivas in the semifinals was his finest moment since arriving to the league.
Djaniny is probably the most dangerous player in Caixinha’s roster. The Cape Verdean is versatile and mobile. Santos’ game is about how quick they can win the ball back, and Djaniny has been vital, particularly when he scores goals too.
For Queretaro, the obvious player that stands out is Ronaldinho. But the Barcelona legend has had his problems on and off the field. He famously walked off the stadium in the semifinal first-leg after being substituted in the first-half, and it is unknown what role Ronaldinho will play in the final.
On the defensive part of the game, Queretaro’s defense has been a lot stronger than anyone expected. Yasser Corona and company have been surprisingly efficient in their defensive responsibilities, and they will need to be alert for another 180 minutes.
Finals are always difficult to predict, and when the first game kicks off on Thursday, this will be arguably the biggest 180 minutes in Queretaro’s history. On Sunday, only one team will be able to call themselves Liga MX champions. The only thing stopping Queretaro from achieving this feat is a Santos’ fifth league title.