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Match recap: Club Tijuana 0, UNAM Pumas 1

A missed penalty and a Matías Alustiza golazo all but sink Tijuana’s Liguilla ambitions.

America v Tijuana - Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

One to forget from the Mictlán for Tijuana, as a missed penalty by Juan Martín Lucero laid bare the club’s scoring woes before Matías Alustiza would secure all three points for Pumas.

The match started out in a disjointed, choppy fashion. Neither side got much going early on, with a string of off-target passes and late, late whistles. The best non-chance came in the second minute when Juan Martín Lucero went in on goal one-on-one with Alfred Saldívar. Lucero shanked his shot, however the offside flag went up.

In the 38th minute, Pumas has a fantastic chance when 9 hit a cross from the left of Xolos goalkeeper Gibran Lajud. Carlos González hit a tight angle shot that clattered off the post. Moments later, ex-Xolos winger Ignacio “Nacho” Malcorra almost hit an olímpico when his corner kick smashed off of the crossbar.

The second half would present much of the same. Pumas midfielder Andres Iniestra would hit a diving header past Lajud, but luckily for the home side it would hit off of the post.

In the 72nd minute, Xolos would get their big chance. In the box, Miller Bolaños would flick the ball across toward the center and it would hit a Pumas player in the arm. Juan Martín Lucero would step up and hit a limp shot directly into the arms of Alfredo Saldívar.

In the 84th minute, Pumas would finally break the deadlock. Former Xolo Juan Iturbe would hit a fantastic cross back across the grain to Matías “Chavo” Alustiza. Chavo would hit a rocket that Lajud had no shot to stop.

That’s all that Pumas would need. Xolos had their opportunities but couldn’t convert when it counted the most.

Tijuana will head to Puebla to face Lobos BUAP on Saturday while Pumas will return home to host cross-town rivals Cruz Azul next Sunday.

Club Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Luis Fuentes, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Julián Velázquez, Omar Mendoza; Diego González, Diego Rodríguez (Luis Chávez, 60’); Jesús Angulo, Miller Bolaños, Eryc Castillo (Fabián Castillo, 60’); Juan Martín Lucero (Erick Torres, 83’)

UNAM Pumas: Alfredo Saldívar; Alan Mendoza (Matías Alustiza, 79’), Luis Quintana, Alejandro Arribas, Diego Rosales; Martín Rodríguez (Juan Iturbe, 79’), Ignacio Malcorra, Andres Iniestra, Pablo Barrera; Carlos González, Felipe Mora (David Cabrera, 84’)

Scoring: Club Tijuana - None; UNAM Pumas - Matías Alustiza (85’)

Disciplinary: Club Tijuana - Diego Rodríguez (Yellow - 40’), Omar Mendoza (Yellow - 54’); UNAM Pumas - Diego Rosales (Yellow - 39’), Ignacio Malcorra (Yellow - 44’)