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Chivas and Pumas tie in game marred by controversial red cards

Pumas and Chivas tied 1-1 in a match filled with controversial plays

Chivas v Pumas UNAM - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Oscar Meza/Jam Media/Getty Images

Chivas and Pumas finished tied 1-1 in an even match that had Chivas finishing the game with nine players. It was a controversial game, with Chivas getting their goal from a VAR-judged play off a penalty kick. In the second half, Chivas would be down a man after another controversial call, and it took Pumas until extra time to get the equalizer after finally taking advantage of being up a player. Another red card call for Chivas after the goal wasn’t able to help Pumas, and both teams finished with one point. Pumas now will return to Mexico City after the FIFA break to face a tough match at home against Leon while Chivas will have an even tougher away match against Monterrey.

The first half was mostly pretty even and not a terribly exciting game. Chivas had more of the possession but didn’t create a dangerous play until the 19th minute. A cross was wonderfully saved by defender Luis Quintana with an acrobatic clearance before the ball was headed by Alan Pulido.

Pumas then had its first chance but Carlos Gonzalez got called offside in the play. Then in the 26th minute, Pumas had a huge blow when their best defender, Nicolas Freire, got injured and had to leave the game for Pablo Jaquez. The play had almost an immediate effect when after a tussle between Jaquez and Pulido, Pulido fell down in the area. While at first the referee continued the play , he then went to VAR and called the penalty kick. Pulido took a well placed penalty that gave Chivas the 1-0 lead.

After the goal Pumas went more into the offense but never really threatened. Chivas almost had a good chance when Miguel Angel Ponce got into the area but the ball was cleared by Jaquez.

The second half had Pumas going into the attack, and Juan Manel Iturbe had the first shot of the half but it was saved by Jose Antonio Rodriguez. Chivas would then have a better chance when Jaquez had to make a great dive to clear the ball from Isacc Brizuela, who was preparing for a shot in the area.

Chivas had a great chance for their second when a left-footed shot from Ponce got one-handed saved by Pumas goalkeeper Alfredo Saldivar. Pumas tried to respond minutes later but a Bryan Mendoza shot went wide after Chivas defense deflected it. Then of an ensuing clash, Alexis Vega stepped on Alan Mozo’s privates and got red carded.

With Chivas down to 10 men, immediately coach Luis Fernando Tena decided to go defensively and subbed on Michael Perez. As such, Pumas had the ball in the final minutes but they did a terrible job in creating danger against a Chivas that was sitting back.

In extra time, Carlos Gonzalez rose to meet a cross from Victor Malcorra and ended up making a great header that Rodriguez couldn’t get to for the 1-1.

A minute after, Cesar Huerta got his second yellow card to get Chivas down to nine men for a second straight match. It was an incredible stupid move for Huerta, who came in as the last substitution for Alan Pulido.

Moments later, Quintana rose for a header from an Iturbe cross but Chivas defender Hiram Mier saved miraculously with a header. Off the corner kick, Iturbe had a chance for a long range shot but his shot went wide. The game ended with the 1-1 tie and Pumas went from a deserved loss to almost getting the win.

While Pumas might have expected to get a better result coming in, the way the game went, they must return to Mexico City very happy in getting a point. Pumas didn’t have the best game but finished on a high and probably would have won had there been more time left after Chivas went down a man. Still, they must pick things up, especially after another inferior away performance from their normal play at home, which has been a lot better.

Chivas, meanwhile, basically kisses goodbye to any chance of qualifying to the Liguilla. That said, they did improve from their performance against America but they once again finished the game with nine players. The performance from Cesar Huerta, who got subbed on in the 81st minute and got two yellow cards in 10 minutes is disgraceful. Chivas must take the FIFA break and question a lot of what is happening in the club, especially now that a new head coach should be out of the question.