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Pumas fight back to rescue draw at home against Morelia

Trailing 2-0 in the second half, Pumas came back to rescue a 2-2 draw

Pumas UNAM v Morelia - Torneo Clausura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Pumas fought back from being 2-0 down to get a draw at home against Morelia to stop their Liga MX losing streak. While the result might have not been the one expected coming in, they were able to fight back a negative situation after being down on the score after just 15 seconds. Pumas could have gotten a victory after Morelia went down to 10 players but were unlucky no to do so. The Universitarios will now face a Copa MX Quarterfinal with their top forward Carlos Gonzalez in doubt to play after having to leave the game with a head injury.

It took the first play of the game for Morelia to shock Pumas. With a drive thorough the right in which Alan Mozo made a terrible mistake and failed to pay attention to Gaston Lezcano, Lezcano went into the area, went past a sliding Alejandro Arribas and put it past goalkeeper Alfredo Saldivar for the 1-0.

After the goal, Pumas took control of the match and came close with a shot by Victor Malcorra that was saved by Morelia’s keeper Sebastian Sosa. They came even closer when an Arribas header went past Sosa, who did a bad job going for the ball, and it went inches wide from the post.

Then against the run of play, another Pumas mistake allowed Miguel Sansores to be brought down the area and given a penalty kick after Saldivar brought him down. Ray Sandoval took the shot but it wasn’t a good one, and with Saldviar (probably the best penalty kick stopper in Mexico) there, he was able to save it. Still after the penalty kick, Pumas looked to have wilted and didn’t really threaten until the halftime whistle was blown.

The second half once again had a terrible start for Pumas. Alejandro Arribas brought down Miguel Sansores for another penalty kick. This time it was Mario Osuna who took the penalty and he wouldn’t miss to put the game 2-0 for Morelia.

To Pumas credit, they didn’t give up and actually started to turn things around almost immediately. First, an Alan Mozo long range shot hit the post. Then off a free kick, it was Victor Malcorra who would hit the post. Pumas continued to pressure and they would finally get some luck when a long range shot by Juan Manuel Iturbe went past the hands of Sosa for the 2-1. While it looked like a Morelia player had blocked Sosa’s vision, it still should have been an easy save for Sosa, as the shot was well placed but didn’t have much speed.

Pumas continued pushing up and they would be rewarded with the equalizer. After Morelia looked to have cleared a ball, Mozo made a great tackle to win the ball and have all the advantage for a cross that found Felipe Mora, who would head in the equalizing goal.

Pumas luck seemed to have turned when Morelia’s Efrain Velarde got his second yellow card to leave his team with 10 players. Pumas then had complete control of the ball but they would see a moment of incredible misfortunate when a Mora header hit the right post and would go through the whole are to hit the left post and go out. It was as unlucky a play as could be.

Then in the final minutes, a clash of heads between Carlos Gonzalez and a Morelia defender forced Pumas to get him out of the game after he looked dizzy and with a big welt in his head. The play deflated the game and there were no more opportunities for a Pumas team that lost momentum with it.

The result of the draw would have had an opposite effect for people coming in. While getting an away point for Morelia would have been seen as a great result for them, after having a 2-0 lead and a Pumas team that looked deflated at times, only getting a point and barely hanging on means that overall it’s a bad performance for them. Meanwhile, the draw for Pumas might have been seen as a terrible result, but considering the circumstances, escaping a defeat can be seen as a positive for the Universitarios. The only negative thing for Pumas was the injury to Carlos Gonzalez.

Both Pumas and Morelia will now face home Copa MX action in the Quarterfinals on Tuesday. That day Pumas opens the Copa MX quarterfinal facing Diego Maradona’s Dorados, while Morelia will play at home against Tijuana following the conclusion of that game.