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Pumas gets important Copa MX win against Celaya

Pumas climbs to 5 points after defeating Celaya 1-0.

Pumas players do the Goya chant after defeating Celaya
Rafael Hernandez

Pumas scrapped by to get a key win in the Copa MX against Celaya at home 1-0. The win eliminates Celaya and leaves Pumas in the running for a spot in the next round with five points. The game, which was postponed until Sunday after a thunderstorm flooded the field on Thursday, was very hard fought and Pumas showed that ex coach Francisco Palencia wasn't the only problem with the team. Still, Pumas was able to take the three points after a headed goal from Joffre Guerron and will now face Monterrey away in the final Copa MX game of the group stage.

With the FIFA date in full swing, Pumas was set to face Celaya on Thursday for a Copa MX game without their Chilean internationals (Nico Castillo, Marcelo Diaz) or Mexican National team member Jesus Gallardo. Still, Pumas had a team with several veteran players along with some youngsters for a game with Celaya that was key in their path to the next round of the Copa MX. On Thursday, a thunderstorm in Mexico City that even had Friday's Mexico vs Panama World Cup qualifier in doubt, forced the game to be postponed until Saturday and then Sunday. While moving the game for 12 PM looked to attract a bigger crowd, the attendance was as low as expected for a normal Copa MX game. Celaya, also on the brink of elimination like Pumas, played a tough game and Pumas never was comfortable in a 1st half that really had no clear chances for either team.

The second half started with Pumas subbing out the disappointing Bryan Rabello for Alan Mendoza. Although Mendoza didn't offer much improvement, Pumas started to take control of the game. Nonetheless, Celaya had the clearest chance when after a corner kick, Facundo Juarez had a terrible miss of a free header to the near post that he sent wide. A couple of minutes later, Alfredo Moreno had another good chance for Celaya that Pumas’ keeper cleared.

The best sub for Pumas came when Brian Figueroa was subbed in and Pumas immediately became more dangerous. It was Figueroa who sent the cross that found Joffre Guerron for a diving header to score the only goal of the game. Although Guerron has been having a terrible comeback season with Pumas so far, he was by far the best player in the game for Pumas and this could be a good sign in the possible road to recovery for him. After the goal, Pumas had two great shots hit off the post. First Spanish midfielder Abraham Gonzalez shot a ball from outside the area that hit the crossbar. Later on Figueroa had a shot on goal from even farther hit the upright. Celaya had the ball for the final minutes as they looked for the equalizer but Pumas held on for the important three points.

With the win Pumas sits now on second place of the group with five points. Their final Copa MX game will be against Monterrey away, by far the toughest game for them in the group. Still the five points has them in good position to make it as one of the best second placed groups. Pumas will return to league play with a game on Sunday against Tijuana at home.