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Puebla rebound from goalkeeper mistake to get a point against America

America and Puebla tie 1-1 in a surprisingly even match.

America and Puebla face each other in Estadio Azteca
Rafael Hernandez

America continued with their disappointing level of play as they could only tie at home against an already eliminated Puebla. While most people expected an easy America win, the game turned out to be pretty even, and to some ,Puebla might have been the best team on the night. The win stopped America from clinching a Liguilla spot, who will now have to go away to Santos to try to get that spot.

America, one of the favorites of the tournament, was not coming in with their best level of play. They had lost in league play to leaders Monterrey, and although on Wednesday they had gotten their ticket to the Copa MX semifinal, it only came on penalty kicks at home against a Queretaro team that is one of the weakest in Mexico. Their start against Puebla showed signs that they were still in a funk. Even when America's Oribe Peralta had hit the post, Puebla had as much control of the ball as America and looked more dangerous on the counter attacks. Still, they got a huge lifeline when Mateus Uribe shot was bumbled in by Puebla's goalkeepr Moises Muñoz. Muñoz, who used to be America's starting goalkeeper when they won their last two league titles and had famously scored the goal to tie the Cruz Azul final, was just returning to the Puebla starting job and once again had done a big mistake, something that has been common with him all 2017. America went into halftime with a lucky lead.

The second half had America controlling the game and even getting a goal called back because of a foul. It looked like America was going to be able to get a win but subbing out Oribe Peralta and Darwin Quintero limited America's attack. Off a free kick, Puebla's Bryan Angulo got off a shot that Bruno Valdez cleared off the line. After that play Puebla took control of the match and it paid off with a headed goal off a corner kick. The rest of the game was pretty even but Puebla had justifiably got a tie and America was booed off at the end.

This tie severely hurts America. Although they can (and should) still get to the Liguilla, this draw shows that the loss at home to Necaxa was no fluke and that America is not playing at their best. They were lucky to get a win against Chivas, who had outplayed them. They were also lucky in their two Copa MX games. Against Cruz Azul, things were pretty even until Cruz Azul went down to 10 men. Then against Queretaro, they were lucky that the team missed all their penalty kicks in the shootout. The deserved tie from a team like Puebla, who is right in the middle of the relegation battle, shows that America's luck is running out and they are getting exposed. They might benefit from the FIFA date break but their next big match will be another visit to Monterrey in the Copa Mx in one of the semifinals clashes.