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Pumas comes back twice to get draw in final home game of 2017

Pumas and Santos tie 2-2 after a very exciting second half.

Pumas and Santos setting to start their game.
Rafael Hernandez

Pumas twice went down but fought back to get a draw against Santos in what will be their final home game of 2017. Pumas still sits in last place but the draw was enough to end all of Santos’ hopes for a place in the Liguilla. The game was a very even and it was one of the best performances for Pumas. It's indicative of Pumas' season that a home draw can be seen as a positive against a team that is also eliminated from postseason play. Pumas will try to get out of last place against Queretaro, in the final game of the season. A last place finish will be a black mark on a team already in historic turmoil.

Pumas went into their last home game with nothing to fight but the "honor" of not finishing last place. Santos still had some slim hope of getting into the Liguilla, although they would be dependent on other results. It wasn't surprising that Santos went out and looked better in the early minutes. But Pumas was able to take control of the game, albeit failing to create much and mostly relied on long range shots which all went wide. Outside of a Santos goal ruled offside, there was no dangerous situation for either team.

The second half was a totally different story and turned out to be offensively filled with excitement. Once again Santos’ better offensive weapons had them take control of the game early in the half. This time they would make Pumas pay when a corner kick was headed into a Osvaldo Martinez, who crossed the ball for Julio Furch to head in the first goal.

Pumas came close to getting the leveler when Jesus Gallardo missed a good cross and Santos almost scored in the counter but Furch wasted it. Then in one of the few highlights of the season, Alan Mendoza tied the game with a great free kick goal from outside the area.

The happiness from getting the tie wouldn't last long for Pumas. Just a couple of minutes later, a great combination play from Santos and a bad defensive job from Pumas finished with Djaniny Tavares scoring from close range.

After the 2-1, Pumas took control of the game, helped by Pablo Barrera (who had been subbed a minute before Djaniny's goal). Barrera made a great run and shot it past the keeper only for the ball to bounce of the post. Another great play by Pumas had Alan Acosta alone but Santos' keeper, Jonathan Orozco, made a great stop. It looked like Pumas was going to get another loss but then a great play tied the game. Barrera made a great pass to Jesus Gallardo, who failed to score from a back heel. Luck was with him, though, and he was able to fire home from the rebound it with a left footed shot.

Pumas had the ball for the final minutes but Santos came closest to scoring when a free kick ball was left in the area but Carlos Izquierdoz sent a sure chance wide.

Pumas and Santos both finished the season with a different coach than which they started with (Pumas even having one coach in between with Sergio Egea). It's not sure if David Patiño will continue as Pumas coach. It's unlikely, although he did a better job than expected. Bigger questions are going to be asked about the club president, Rodrigo Ares de Parga. After the failure of three coaches and almost every signing, it's rightfully on him that most fans ire is centered on. A last place finish might be the thing to finally bring changes at the top.