Pumas had one of their best ever games in their CONCACAF Champions league history as they took care of business and destroyed an already eliminated W Connection 8-1. The victory gave UNAM the group-win and ticket to the quarterfinals, where they will face Tigres.
Needing the result today, Pumas had more league starters than normal for the CCL, although it was far from their best team. Still, the clear difference between teams was clear and Pumas dominated from the start. Pablo Barrera, one of the league starters that hadn't been playing in the CCL, had a great game and set up the first goal after a great cross that Saul Berjon headed in. Jesus Gallardo, the best player of the match, followed with a good cross to Eduardo Herrera for the 2-0. The best goal of the match came when Jose Van Rankin passed to Barrera, who back-heeled the ball to Herrera to finish the play with a left-footed shot. Pumas had more chances but it ended only 3-0 at halftime.
The second half was more of the same domination with another great combination that ended with Gallardo slipping the ball for the 4-0. A mistake by Pumas defense led to a W Connection goal but Gallardo would score again after getting the rebound of a shot that hit the post for the 5-1. Pumas even missed a penalty kick by Herrera but they would score another with a long range shot by Alfonso Nieto. Fidel Martinez would take control of the game after that and score two goals from mid-range shots as Pumas set the final score at 8-1.
Pumas’ win placed them past Honduras Progreso and into the quarterfinals. By far the best team of the group, Pumas will now face the toughest team in the competition in roster terms in Tigres, a rematch of the 2015 final that put both teams in this competition. The tournament now takes a break until February 2017 where both clubs situation might be very different. For now it's mission accomplished for Palencia and Pumas.