Pumas continued their winning streak in Guadalajara after defeating Atlas 2-1 in coach Bruno Marioni’s debut. With both teams using very strong starting lineups for a Copa MX game, Pumas came back from going 1-0 down to get a victory that now places them on top of Group 8. The win is the fifth straight for Pumas in Guadalajara, a streak that included the first win in the city against Chivas since 1982 and is also the second away win in this Copa MX, both in Guadalajara.
With coach Bruno Marioni making his debut with Pumas after David Patiño got fired on Sunday and with an Atlas team needing the win after losing to UdeG in Copa MX, both teams went with close to their regular starting lineups. For Pumas, this included star forward Carlos Gonzalez. The tough squads meant that both teams were very evenly match in a first half that gave few dangerous opportunities for either team besides a long range shot from Pumas’ Kevin Escamilla that was blocked by Atlas keeper Edgar Hernandez.
The second half was completely different in that both teams came out playing, and Atlas came close to scoring when Jesus Isijara had a long range shot hit the post.
Osvaldo Martinez then came close to scoring before Pumas’ keeper, Miguel Angel Fraga, sent the ball to a corner. In the corner kick, the ref judged that Pumas defender Alejandro Arribas pushed Omar Gonzalez and gave Atlas a penalty. Martinez stepped up and converted to give Atlas the 1-0 lead.
A couple of minutes later, Atlas keeper Hernandez handled the ball outside the area to give Pumas a free kick, although he claimed he was pushed. Off the free kick cross, Carlos Gonzalez was able to head the ball to tie the game.
After the goal briefly gave Pumas a second wind and Pablo Barrera came close to scoring, Atlas player Lorenzo Reyes had to go off with what appeared to be a serious injury.
A couple of minutes later, Pumas got a corner kick and Arribas was able to connect with a great header to give Pumas the 2-1 lead.
Atlas went all out in the final minutes and Dario Burbano had a shot deflected by Fraga. Off the corner kick attempt, Facundo Barcelo headed a ball into the post. After the dangerous chances, Pumas was able to handle itself to get the victory.
The win is a fantastic result for Bruno Marioni in his first game as coach, especially because Pumas played better than in previous games. While it was a Copa MX game, both teams had similar squads to their starting lineup. The win also helps Pumas’s chances to get to the next round, although the group is close with all 3 members. Meanwhile, Atlas complicates itself a lot and will now face a must win game against their neighbors Universidad de Guadalajara in the Copa MX. Anything but a win will have them almost eliminated. In Liga MX they will face a tough away match to Morelia, but they are doing a lot better in the league than in Copa MX. Pumas, on the other hand, will face a tough match with Monterrey in Marioni’s first game with Pumas in Liga MX.