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Injured riddled Pumas falls at home to Queretaro

Queretaro beats Pumas 1-0 away but are unlucky to not win by a larger margin.

Pumas UNAM v Queretaro - Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Pumas lost their second consecutive game when they fell 1-0 at home to Queretaro. With injuries keeping out their two starting center backs (Alejandro Arribas, Luis Quintana), as well as their starting forward Carlos Gonzalez, Pumas played their worst game of the season and should have lost by a bigger score. Queretaro improved in relation to other games but wasted too many chances (including a penalty) and they should not be happy that the game was close for 90 minutes. Queretaro now will look to improve at home as they face Lobos BUAP, one of the weakest teams in Liga MX. Pumas on the other hand will now face their most important regular season game, against top rival Club America, after suffering a big hit to their confidence.

Pumas came into this game with a great opening to the season but also from their first defeat after losing 1-0 to Monterrey. The defeat may not have been as bad, but starting center back Alejandro Arribas missed the Monterrey game because of injury and then the Universitarios went on to lose lost their other center back Luis Quintana and Carlos Gonzalez, both of which left the Monterrey game in the first half because of injuries. For this game, Pumas had to play with backup center back Pablo Jaquez and left back Alan Mendoza as their starting center backs. This absolutely showed, with every Queretaro attack looking dangerous through the middle. It was there where Queretaro was able to open the score. Camilo Sanvezzo and teenager Marcel Ruiz combined with a play through the middle and Ruiz was able to calmly finish and give Queretaro the 1-0 lead.

The Gallos Blancos kept attacking, and if it weren’t for the awful finishing from their forward Daniel Villalva, the score would have easily been doubled. Queretaro then went on to win a penalty kick, but Sanvezzo made a mess of it and goalkeeper Alfredo Saldivar stopped it.

The second half continued with Pumas trying to push things forward, but they didn’t seem to have much idea. At the same time, coach David Patiño didn’t really seem to have a handle of the game. It also didn’t help that the forward tandem of Matias Alustiza and Felipe Mora played really poorly all game. Both got subbed out for Juan Manuel Iturbe and Adolfo Hernandez, but neither had an impact. To make things worse for Pumas, after a foul Pablo Barrera got injured and had to leave the game for Alan Acosta. The game ended 1-0 and the Universitarios never came close to getting the draw.

As previously mentioned, Pumas’s defeat was a big hit to their confidence, especially with the América game coming up on Saturday. Right now, it really looks like a repeat of last season, where after a home loss against Veracruz Pumas spiraled out of the lead and almost didn’t make the Liguilla. With the game on Saturday having Pumas go up against Miguel Herrera, who has never lost to Pumas as America’s head coach, and a squad that is superior, things don’t look very good for the Universitarios. Coach David Patiño, who looked defeated in the press conference after the game, will really need to get players back from injury and hope his team can regain some of the form they lost from their early games.