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Struggling Pumas lucky to draw Atlas 2-2 at home

Atlas came back from being down 2-0 to earn a draw after an awful second half from Pumas

Pumas UNAM v Atlas - Torneo Clausura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

Pumas’s struggles continued as they got a lucky point at home against Altas on Sunday. After a well played first half, Pumas disappeared completely in the second, especially after their captain Pablo Barrera got red carded. Atlas came back from being down 2-0 to tie the game and deserved more than the point they got.

The first half started very even, but with Atlas having the better chances. Pumas goalkeeper Alfredo Saldivar had to make a save from a Jefferson Duque shot, and overall Atlas looked more dangerous. It wasn’t until Omar Gonzalez almost deflected a shot into his own net that Pumas came close to scoring.

A Gonzalez play then looked like it was going to lead to the first goal when he was ruled to have handled the ball outside the area, although replays showed that it was a controversial call.

Pumas’s breakthrough eventually did arrive and it was through a set-piece when Victor Malcorra took the ball and scored a great free kick goal to put the score at 1-0.

After the goal, Pumas picked it up and soon were 2-0 up when Pablo Barrera made a great cross to Felipe Mora, who headed the ball. Atlas’ keeper Jose Hernandez got his hands to it, but it wasn’t enough for the ball to get out of the net.

Atlas tried to attack and a Juan Pablo Vigon’s goal was called back for offside in a correct decision. Pumas held on to halftime with the lead.

The second half started with Atlas having more of the ball but not creating much. Then Felipe Mora looked to be injured as he he fell badly after a clash. Mora returned to the field, but not much later, Atlas scored when Vigon headed the ball past the keeper.

Pumas started to fall back and Atlas looked to have control of the ball. Vigon came close to scoring when a near range shot by him got blocked by Saldivar in a more lucky than miraculous save.

Things got worse for Pumas when Pablo Barrera got red carded. Barrera who had been struggling before today had actually given a good first half but his rash decision had many Universitarios questioning his future with the club.

Thereafter, the game turned an Atlas took complete control of the match. Saldivar had to make save after save, including a close header from Alejandro Diaz. Off the corner of that save, Atlas got the ball and once again Vigon headed the ball and scored for the more than deserved equalizer.

At the end, Facundo Barcelo hit the post in the final minutes. The game finished 2-2 and Atlas deserved more than the three points it got.

Although Atlas wasted two points, they should leave pleased with their performance and the fact they have improved a lot from last season. On the other hand, Pumas should be worried about how bad they’ve looked since their last home win against Tigres in the past Liguilla. Without the injured Carlos Gonzalez, Pumas looks average at best, and they might have a tough road ahead as they now face a Pachuca team that doesn’t have a coach but has probably a better squad and is at home. Atlas, meanwhile, will return home for two games, against their city neighbors Universidad de Guadalajara in the Copa MX and then Lobos BUAP in Liga MX.