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Match Recap: Toluca 1, Pumas UNAM 0

Pumas UNAM v Toluca - Torneo Clausura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

On Sunday, ninth place Pumas received a visit from fifth place Toluca. The Diablos Rojos were looking for a win that would put them even closer to the top of the standings, while Pumas was looking to get back into the top eight. Toluca was coming off a very good streak of three straight wins. Pumas, on the other hand, had not registered a win in the last four games. Pumas was desperate for a win in front of their home crow, but Toluca had not lost a game in Ciudad Universitaria in over 2 years. The setup was perfect for a great match between two good teams looking for the win and the three points.

First Half

Both teams lined up in a similar 4-2-3-1 formation, which seemed to cause a bit of a stalemate early on in the game. The attacks from both teams cancelled each other out and the ball spent a lot of time in the midfield. At the 14th minute, Alan Mendoza put in a good cross from the right wing which was headed out. Pumas kept trying to make something happen and earned a corner at the 18th but nothing came of it.

With very little attacking going on,the game once again got bogged down in the midfield. Near the 30 minute mark, Toluca earned a free kick and almost put the ball in the net, but it was prevented by the Pumas defense.

Near the end of the first half, Quiñones put in a good cross from the left wing but Uribe could not finish. The referee added one minute to the first half, but neither team could take the advantage and the first half ended in a 0-0 tie.

Second Half

The second half got going with neither team making any personnel changes. Toluca came out more motivated in the second half and kept the ball away from Pumas. They created a few chances but nothing too dangerous for the Pumas defense.

David Patiño finally decided to make a change to try and get the ball back, bringing on Pablo Barrera and taking out Acosta. Jesus Gallardo then gave Alustiza a great pass in the 54th minute, Alustiza got on the end of it and put in a powerful shot, but Talavera was able to keep the ball out of the goal.

In the 66th minute, Barrera got a great service and was able to get off a shot that went just wide of the post. After that, however, it was all Toluca. The Diablos Rojos kept the ball, created chances down the wings, but could not break down the Pumas defense.

Just as it looked like the game would end in a tie, Alexis Canelo took the ball down the right wing and put in a powerful cross. Marcelo Diaz tried to clear the cross but ended up putting the ball into his own goal. Toluca was up 1-0.

The last five minutes of the game were uneventful, as Pumas tried to rescue a point, but they had nothing left in the tank and Toluca came out on top.

The streaks continue

Toluca deservedly came away with all three points, continued their undefeated streak in Ciudad Universitaria, and won their fourth game in a row. Pumas has not registered a win in the last five games, their offense is sputtering, and their defense is looking tired. The success and momentum Pumas had at the beginning of the season is lost now and coach David Patiño has not been able to turn things around. Toluca on the other hand is rolling. This win currently takes them up to second place with 21 points. Club America is only ahead of them because of goal difference. Next week, Toluca visit the Estadio Azteca to take on America in a battle of the top teams. Pumas will travel across town to visit Cruz Azul, where both teams will be attempting to escape mediocrity and salvage their seasons.