Led on by a great goal from Brian Figueroa, Pumas defeated Chivas for the first time ever in Estadio Akron/Omnilife and for the first time since 1982, eliminating them from the Copa MX. Like their top rivals America, Chivas proceed to be eliminated at home in the week prior to the Superclasico game between them on Sunday.
Pumas took an early lead but got leveled and lost control of the game until Figueroa’s long range bomb gave them the lead. In a tough second half, Pumas sat back and held on until injury time when they got the benefit of a lucky own goal. Pumas will now play Leon in the Quarterfinals, while Chivas will concentrate on the big clash with America.
The night couldn’t have started better for Pumas after they took an early lead. A mistake by the Chivas defense gave the ball to Matias Alustiza, who scored the opening goal.
But after the goal, Chivas came roaring back and took control of the match. Alan Pulido thought he had scored off a corner kick but he was ruled offside. A couple of minutes later, and to no one’s surprise, Pulido was able to tie the game. This time a cross by a Chivas player found Pulido, who was able to head it past goalkeeper Alfredo Saldivar.
The game continued with Chivas having more possession and the better of the game, but Pumas was able to threaten at times and took advantage of the wet conditions, as well as Chivas goalkeeper Miguel Jimenez. The Chivas keeper, who had showed some deficiencies in league play, started the chain to the Pumas goal. After a long shot that Jimenez should have done better with, the rebound fell to a Pumas player who then proceeded to pass the ball to Brian Figueroa. Figueroa, a young offensive player who had shown a powerful shot before for Pumas, took a long range shot to score the 2-1. The goal was a hit to Chivas and Pumas was able to play their best until the halftime whistle.
The second half continued with Chivas having control of the ball and Pumas going more defensive as the game went on. Chivas wasn’t able to produce much for all their possession, but they were slowly tiring Pumas. The field conditions were starting to hurt Pumas and Juan Manuel Iturbe and Matias Alustiza both had to leave the game with injuries. The fact that regular starters Martin Rodriguez and Carlos Gonzalez came on showed that Pumas had the goal of winning the game.
With Chivas attacking, Pumas started to counter and Gonzalez had a great opportunity for the 3-1 but the shot went wide. Then Coach David Patiño subbed out forward Felipe Mora for midfielder Victor Malcorra and Pumas once again went completely defensive. Chivas had the better opportunities and it looked like Pumas was holding on to dear life. Then in extra time, a freak opportunity gave Pumas the game. A long clearance fell for Martin Rodriguez, who made the cross into the box and Chivas defender Benjamin Galindo Jr. slipped when he tried to clear the goal and scored the own goal. The goal sealed the victory for a Pumas team that was doing everything in its power to give Chivas the opportunity for an equalizer.
Chivas had time to hit the woodwork but Pumas held on and after 36 years were victorious.
The win in Guadalajara is historic for Pumas. A 36-year long streak ending is a historic achievement. While the Copa MX is not the league and Pumas can still try to end that streak when they face each other in Guadalajara this season, it’s still a big monkey that Pumas get off their back.