Liborio Sanchez, on loan from Chivas at Queretaro, put on a stunning performance against the club that owns his rights as he guided Los Gallos Blancos to a semifinal berth.Liborio Sanchez put in an otherworldy performance in goal as Queretaro held Chivas Guadalajara to a 0-0 draw. Queretaro's 2-1 win in the first leg was enough to see it through to the semifinals of the Mexican Apertura.
Sanchez came up time and again with reflex saves to deny an array of Chivas players and salvage an otherwise limp performance from his team.
Marco Fabian made his return to the lineup for Chivas after missing out on the first leg through injury, while Jorge Enriquez made the starting lineup after scoring as a substitute in the first leg of the series. Queretaro, meanwhile, sent out the same starting lineup as the first leg, with Carlos Bueno alone up top, supported by three attacking midfielders.
Chivas took a naturally more attacking look as it tried to overturn a one-goal deficit, knowing that an aggregate tie would send them through by virtue of its higher seed. Mario de Luna nearly had that vital goal seven minutes in as he connected well with a corner kick, only to see his header sail straight into the arms of Sanchez.
Sanchez's area turned into something of a shooting gallery as Chivas continued to press for the vital goal early on. Fabian was next to test the goalkeeper, who is playing for Queretaro on loan from Chivas, but the youngster saved well. Erick Torres forced a reaction save out of Sanchez minutes later, but will be disappointed to have put his free header straight in the direction of the goalkeeper.
Despite occasional efforts to relieve the pressure, Queretaro was mostly content to keep men behind the ball. Enriquez had a fantastic chance after the visitors failed to clear their lines, but Sanchez was once again equal to the header, acrobatically tipping it over the bar.
Sanchez continued to stop everything the Chivas players threw his way as the half drew to a close, once again denying Enriquez with a stunning reflex save after he connected with a free kick from Alberto Medina.
Though Queretaro initially pushed forward in the second half, it still found itself reliant on its goalkeeper, with Sanchez making yet another save, this time on Fabian after Queretaro failed to clear his lines on a bouncing throw-in within three minutes of the restart.
Queretaro managed to hold possession more than in the first half, allowing it to relieve a little bit of the pressure on Sanchez. Still, Chivas had its moments, especially when Erick Torres headed wide on the 70 minute mark, again from a corner kick.
The expected siege of Queretaro's area came as time wound down, but unlike the first half, Chvias could not manage to test Sanchez despite playing almost the entire game in the final third of the field. Torres was particularly wasteful, sending over a free chance at the far post.
As the clock rolled into injury time, Chivas had perhaps its best chance of the match. Enriquez flicked on a cross to Antonio Salazar, who was free at the back post. The substitute got everything on his half volley, but somehow Sanchez put his arm up to deflect the ball over.
The stunning save was the perfect bookend for a goalkeeping performance worthy of any highlight reel. Despite possessing a team full of young talent, Chivas will spend the winter months wondering what might have been on a different night. Queretaro will prepare to take on the highest-seeded team that emerges from the quarterfinals.