Pumas face a tough game at home in a battle with Necaxa for a place in the semifinals of the Copa MX. Pumas will need to pick up the pace after losing another game in Liga MX. While Pumas has done a lot better in Copa MX, they will face a team better than the ones they have faced so far in the competition. Necaxa are also going to have a jump in difficulty after being in a Copa MX group stage with two Ascenso MX teams and then defeating an Atlas team that is last place in Liga MX.
Pumas’s great start to the season is long gone. They went from an undefeated team at the top of the leaderboard, to a team that has lost four of the last five games. They have had a better record recently in Copa MX. After losing their first game, they have remained undefeated and won their group. The pairing meant they had to play Lobos BUAP, a team from their group, in the Round of 16 and defeated them 3-0. They also have the advantage of being at home.
That said, their Liga MX crisis has hit the team hard. In the 3-0 defeat to Leon almost two weeks ago, when Pablo Barrera got subbed out, he protested and kicked a Gatorade bag in front of the coach’s bench. He was subsequently dropped from the starting lineup on Sunday in Toluca, a game that finished 1-0 but should have ended with more goals for the Diablos Rojos.
Indeed, Pumas were thoroughly outplayed and seem to be at their lowest point in Liga MX play. Right in the middle of this crisis, though, they have great chance to restore faith. A loss, however, would eliminate the team, and would mean the loss of possible silverware. The pressure is on for coach David Patiño and it´s not clear how prepared he is to do so.
Necaxa is having a better season that Pumas. While never reaching the heights Pumas did at the beginning, they have been very consistent. In Liga MX they had a couple of big away wins, especially the one in Pachuca where they won 4-0, so they might not be as pressured by the Pumas crowd. Necaxa is a tough team with an experienced coach in Ignacio Ambriz. They might be poised for an upset, and Pumas’s struggles brings the the perfect opportunity to pounce. It will all depend on what Pumas team shows up on Wednesday night.
Date: Wednesday March 14
Time: 7:15pm Pacific, 9:15pm Central, 10:15pm Eastern
Venue: Estadio Universitario, Mexico City, Mexico
TV: Galavision(US-Spanish), Fox Sports 2 (Mexico), ESPN2 (Mexico), TDN (Mexico), TVC Deportes (Mexico)
Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)