Pumas gave a boost to their fans, as well as their chances in Liga MX, as they got a 2-1 home win against Chivas. The loss also sent Chivas coach Jose Cardozo packing as he was fired hours later by the team For Pumas, this ranks as one of the better results of the season and could have even won by a bigger scoreline. Now, the Universitarios will set their eyes on the Copa MX Final match against FC Juarez on Wednesday. Chivas, on the other hand, will have to try to start the process of saving their season in a match against Lobos BUAP.
The game started with both teams coming out to play, although making good examples of why both of their situations weren’t the best coming into this game. With the level of play from both lacking, it was Pumas who at first came close to scoring with a Felipe Mora shot that was deflected to a corner kick.
Chivas then came close with a couple of shots from Alexis Vega but it was Pumas who opened the scoring. Jeison Angulo sent a great pass to Victor Malcorra, who ran down the wing and sent a cross that Carlos Gonzalez scored with a great kick to open the scoring.
It was a great goal but the joy wouldn’t last for Pumas, as in the first play from the restart, the ref judged that Luis Quintana had brought down Isaac Brizuela and gave a penalty kick to Chivas. Although Pumas’ goalkeeper Alfredo Saldivar is great penalty kick stopper, he wasn’t close to a saving the Gael Sandoval penalty kick and Chivas tied it 1-1.
After the equalizer, Pumas went on the offense and came close when Raul Gudiño made a great save off a corner kick headed by Felipe Mora.
A couple of minutes later it was Carlos Gonzalez who just missed reaching a headed ball off another corner kick. Chivas’ bad defending on set pieces eventually gave Pumas a reward when they got the lead back throughLuis Quintana, who went from villain to hero. After a free kick was given to Pumas, Malcorra’s cross was not cleared well by Chivas defenders after a Kevin Escamilla header and it fell to Luis Quintana, who shot into the back of the net.
The second half started with Chivas almost surprising Pumas with a goal. Ronaldo Cisneros went one on one against Saldivar and lobbed it over the keeper, but Luis Quintana was able to clear off the line. Pumas then had a great opportunity when a cross by Malcorra was wasted by Felipe Mora, who skied it.
After the great start from Chivas, the game became even with neither team being able to create much opportunities, as the sun finally came out in Ciudad Univesitaria. It wasn’t until the 78th minute that Chivas was finally able to make a great attempt when Alexis Vega made a great shot that was saved by Saldivar but fell right to a Chivas attacker, whose shot was blocked by defender Alejandro Arribas.
Still, the final minutes had Pumas holding on to dear life as Chivas started attacking. That said, the hosts were able to clear most of them and in counter attacks they ended up having the most dangerous opportunities. In the 88th minute, Mora made a great shot that Raul Gudiño had to make a great stop to send to a corner kick. Finally, in the last play of the game, Pumas had a great 3 vs 1 counter attack that ended with a Mora blocked shot falling to a wide open Carlos Gonzalez to shoot wide.
Pumas’ win is a great boost for the fans but realistically Pumas don’t have much chances to get to the Liguilla. They currently sit at 14th place with 13 points and have a tough schedule ahead, with away matches to Tigres, Cruz Azul and Santos. Thus all eyes will be on their Copa MX and their semifinal game against ascenso team FC Juarez.
Meanwhile, Chivas seems like they had lost their season today and proceeded to fire coach Jose Cardozo. Alberto Coyote will be their interim manager but it seems they will now have to start looking to next season and another disappointing era.