Pumas will like to give fans a positive experience in their home farewell as they face a Toluca team that is trying to earn their place in the Liguilla under their new experienced coach Ricardo La Volpe. Pumas will face a tough task as they face pressure from fans after the disappointing loss against rivals Cruz Azul while fans clamor for Pumas’ president Rodrigo Ares de Parga’s head.
Pumas’ season was a total disappointment. After a bad start that cost coach David Patiño’s job, Bruno Marioni came in and gave a small boost to the team. It didn’t last long, and although Pumas did beat their main rival America, that was the season highlight as they went out. They decided to concentrate their efforts in the Copa MX where they reached the Semifinals but lost there to FC Juarez. Pumas tried for a final push but the loss against Cruz Azul buried their chances for a postseason.
One of the talking points ahead of this match is the hostility fans have against Ares de Parga. Rumors that the club plans to sell their best players in Carlos Gonzalez and Alan Mozo, as well as a video in which Ares de Parga berates ex Pumas star Leandro Augusto that went viral, has many fans incensed. Pumas fans might start boycotting games, but it seems the few that will go to Toluca will expect some happiness in between their protests.
Toluca went from a disastrous season that had them being eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions league in embarrassing fashion and costing their coach Hernan Cristante’s job, to being a strong candidate for the final place in the Liguilla. Here, however, they will face a tough away game. While Toluca has gotten great victories at home under La Volpe, their road record isn’t as great. That said, Toluca is actually higher than Mexico City, meaning that the heat and altitude, weapons that Pumas uses, will not intimidate Toluca.
It’s a weird thing that a not particularly strong Toluca is favored to win against Pumas in CU. Yet that’s exactly were things are when off field rumors and bad level of play all show that Pumas is in turmoil. Still, Pumas came back against a better Cruz Azul team and came close to getting a tie even down a man. They also have 2 straight wins, while Toluca will come with the pressure of the results not going their way on Friday for that final spot. They might be favored, but it won’t be easy and Pumas might pull it off one final time.
Date: Sunday, April 28
Time: 10:00am Pacific, 12:00pm Central, 01:00pm Eastern
Venue: Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City, México
TV: Univision Deportes (US-Español), Univision (US-Español), ESPN Deportes(US-Español), Canal de las Estrellas(Mexico), UnivisionTDN (Mexico), TDN(Mexico),
Listings via LiveSoccerTV.com