FC Juarez clinched its spot in the Copa MX final after defeating a Pumas team who were trying to save their season and instead might have buried themselves and coach Bruno Marioni. It was an even match until Rodrigo Gonzalez might have written his name in the infamous pages of Pumas history with an incredible red card that changed things and gave Pumas one of their most embarrassing results in their history. Meanwhile, FC Juarez continues with a historic Copa MX but will now face their toughest test as they face a red-hot America at home in Ciudad Juarez for the title.
The first half was even in an often tedious affair. Early in the game, FC Juarez took advantage of their home support to have more control of the play, without creating much danger. On the other hand, Pumas started gaining the ball more as time went on and had probably the better chances. Felipe Mora had a great opportunity cleared by a Juarez defender, who almost to his own net. Later on it was Juan Manuel Iturbe who had the better opportunity but his lack of a right foot meant that, while he tried to move the ball to his left feet, two Juarez defenders were able to arrive and clear the ball. Thus ended one of the least entertaining 45 minutes of the Copa MX.
In almost the first minute of the second half, a game-changing play happened when defender Rodrigo Gonzalez, the only Pumas player to have gotten a yellow card in the first half, got his second yellow after bringing down Leandro Carrijo in an awful mistake. The red card completely changed the game as FC Juarez took over and never let go of it.
It wasn’t long when FC Juarez took advantage and after a great run and pass from Mauro Fernandez, Omar Panuco was able to open the scoring.
The goal severely affected Pumas and David Cabrera showed it when he stepped on a rival and should’ve gotten a red card but instead only got a yellow.
Mauro Fernandez almost made it another goal when he forced Saldivar to make a save. But in the final minutes of the game, things got settled after Saldivar was forced to make a save but the ball fell to Luis Lopez, who scored the 2-0.
The game was over and the last minutes had FC Juarez desperately going close to the 3-0, while Pumas held on to finish with an even worse embarrassment than anything in Liga MX.
The game ends up being a glorious achievement for FC Juarez, as they get to their first Copa MX final. They will have an incredibly tough test with an America team that is red-hot and would have been the favorite in the final against either FC Juarez or Pumas. Still, they will host the final and are ready to give it their all in a match that will be historic regardless of the result.
For Pumas, it’s the total opposite. What was seen as the saving grace of the season, will now be the cemetary of their hopes. Coach Bruno Marioni’s tenure will be severely hit after the embarrassing way they wasted the best path they’ve gotten recently to a Copa MX final. Pumas will now will face a season where they will need a miracle to qualify to the Liguilla and to wait if fans will be patient with a team that looks to be in constant struggles with no clear exit out of them.