Quéretaro defeated Santos Laguna 3-0 in tonight’s second leg, but the Laguneros won the Gran Final on aggregate, 5-3. Santos Laguna won their 5th title as they became Clausura 2015 champions.
The Gallos Blancos looked dead and buried after the first leg, which Santos won 5-0, and the second leg looked likely to be nothing more than a formality. However, Querétaro managed to make it interesting with three first-half goals in a comeback attempt that ultimately fell short.
Santos had an early chance to add to their lead with a 2nd minute free kick that was well-saved by Tiago Volpi, but after that the first half was all Querétaro. In the 9th minute, the Gallos earned a penalty kick after Danilinho was taken down in the box. Mario Osuna stepped up and converted it to make it 1-0 for Querétaro.
Despite the huge hill left to climb, the early goal made Querétaro believe, and they quickly added a second. In the 21st minute, Yasser Corona finished off a corner kick to make it 2-0 and make the fans packed into La Corregidora start to believe that a comeback was possible.
By halftime, Querétaro had made it 3-0 and had made Santos well and truly nervous. In the 38th minute, Ángel Sepúlveda sent a low shot past Agustín Marchesín – who hadn’t given up a single goal in 430 minutes before this game – to bring the Gallos within two of tying the aggregate.
Pedro Caixinha reacted by taking out Javier Orozco – who scored four goals in the first leg – to bring on defensive midfielder Sergio Ceballos. Although the substitution initially seemed like a panicked reaction, it ended up paying off in the second half, when Santos began to retain possession and stymie Querétaro’s attack.
The Gallos were unable to keep up the goalscoring pace, and not even the insertion of Ronaldinho in the 60th minute made a difference. The Brazilian star did put the ball in the net, but he did so by interfering with Agustín Marchesín’s attempted clearance, which is an infringement. Referee Francisco Chacón correctly disallowed the would-be goal and yellow-carded the Brazilian.
Querétaro kept fighting, but the other two goals they needed would not come. Halftime had come at the right time for Santos, who were much calmer and better organized in the second 45. They nearly scored themselves, with only the crossbar denying Alonso Escoboza, but they had gotten all the goals they needed in the first leg.
In the end, despite falling 3-0 on the night, Santos Laguna lifted the trophy thanks to their 5-3 aggregate victory, while Querétaro ultimately acquitted themselves well in the first league final in their history.
Querétaro: Tiago Volpi, George Corral (Sinha 81′), Ricardo Osorio, Miguel Ángel Martínez, Yasser Corona, Jonathan Bornstein (Ronaldinho 60′), Danilinho, Mario Osuna, William da Silva, Ángel Sepúlveda, Emanuel Villa (Patricio Rubio 68′).
Santos: Agustín Marchesín, José Javier Abella, Carlos Izquierdoz, Néstor Araujo, Adrián Aldrete, Djaniny Tavares (Andrés Rentería 89′), Diego Hernán González, Jesús Molina, Néstor Calderón, Alonso Escoboza (Rodolfo Salinas 80′), Javier Orozco (Sergio Ceballos 41′).