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Pumas get 2-1 victory as Santos Laguna unbeaten run comes to an end

Pumas edge out three points in a game most people would feel they didn’t deserve to win

After getting totally dominated by a Santos Laguna side that wasted incredible chances in the first half, UNAM Pumas got one of their luckiest wins of the season to hand Santos Laguna their first defeat of the tournament. Nicolas Castillo scored twice in the second half, while Djaniny Tavares scored in the final minute for the visitors. This Pumas win ended a six game winless stream in all competitions for the universitarios.

From the start, Santos totally dominated the game and had a couple of incredible misses. Pumas were severely aided by Santos Laguna forward Julio Furch, who had an underwhelming performance. Among Furch’s misses included a shot that found him wide open in front of goal, just for him to miss when it was easier to score than anything else.

Still, Santos kept pressuring and it looked like it was just a matter of time for them to score the opener, until coach Francisco Palencia subbed on Matias Britos for Alan Mendoza. While the move didn't create much danger, it was able to switch the focus a little more to Pumas’ offense.

As such, Pumas came into the second half with a completely different attitude and they made the visitors pay. After Britos missed a header, Pablo Barrera made a great pass to Nico Castillo, who opened the scoring two minutes in.

Soon after, Pumas established themselves as the better side. Once again Pablo Barrera made a great play after sending a cross to Castillo, who scored after sneaking past Santos' defense.

Furch then had a chance to pull the visitors within one but once again had an awful miss.

Finally in added time, Djaniny beat the offside trap and lobbed it over the Pumas goalkeeper for the 2-1 before Santos had one final chance to level the score from a corner. Alfredo Saldivar, though, managed to hold on to the final ball to earn his side all three points at home.

This Pumas win was extremely lucky but it stops a negative streak for the universitarios. Not only had they not won in six games, but their defense had shown to be exposed, as they had allowed 11 goals in the last four games. Also, one of the games was a 3-0 home defeat to Tigres that eliminated them from the CONCACAF Champions League.

While it's a nice feeling, the defensive problems are still there and were more than evident today. Santos horrific finishing was the key to this Pumas victory, more so than what they did on the field. With Pumas already out of the CCL, they will now face a tough game away to Atlas.

Santos, meanwhile, lose their undefeated status but didn't play a bad game either. Their next match is a difficult home game to rivals Monterrey, In between, however, they will visit Aguascalientes for their Round of 16 Copa MX match against Necaxa.