Morelia got an important win against a struggling Pumas, who continued their road woes. Morelia’s coach Pablo Guede made his debut days after arriving in Morelia but took advantage of a irregular performance from Pumas, who started well but faltered as the game went on. Pumas failed to take advantage of the lack of time the players had with Guede and played a terrible first half. When they tried to came back in the second, it lasted until Morelia’s second goal, which killed their hopes. Pumas will now have a tough test during their midweek match, when they travel to Monterrey and face a tough Rayados team that is a title candidate. Meanwhile, Morelia will travel to an easier match in San Luis Potosi against Atletico San Luis.
Pumas and Morelia started under a rainstorm. The rainy conditions almost helped Pumas when Gabriel Achillier made a mistake in a pass and Carlos Gonzalez almost took advantage but couldn’t control the ball. Pumas had most the possession but Morelia had some dangerous counters like an Edison Flores shot that went straight to Pumas’ keeper Alfredo Saldivar.
Soon, the rainy conditions started hampering both teams and Pumas good early play started to fizzle. Then off a wasted corner kick, Morelia had a counter attack and Fernando Aristeguieta headed into the net. The goal was called offside but after the ref went to the VAR, it was allowed and Morelia had a 1-0 lead. Of Pumas good start, there was nothing left.
Pumas got a close free kick that Pablo Barrera wasted, although Pumas got the ball back and a long range shot came close to threatening. The first half ended with Morelia having a positive result while Pumas played one of their worst 45 minutes of the season.
The second half started with Pumas making two subs, Juan Manuel Iturbe and Brian Figueroa came on for Juan Pablo Vigon and Barrera. Iturbe wouldn’t take long to start making an impact in the game. First Iturbe had a shot deflected and later his shot got deflected by Achillier and it hit the post and out . Pumas missed a sitter when off the ensuing corner kick, the ball went into the area but a Pumas player just missed it and Andres Iniestra got to it late.
It looked like Pumas had the control of the game and was the better team, but in their first clear chance, Cabrera failed to get to Aristegueta and his shot was placed perfectly for the 2-0.
Pumas tried to bounce back and came close, first with an Alan Mozo shot that was deflected and then with a Iturbe shot that hit the post. Yet while Pumas kept pushing, soon Morelia started to control the match. Morelia should have added a third after Jose Martinez found Lucas Villafañez wide open but he fell with the ball and his shot went terribly wide.
Cabrera got off a great left footed shot but Morelia’s keeper Sebastian Sosa made a great save. Off a corner kick, Cabrera had a good flick on header but not Pumas player was in the middle of the box to get to it.
The final minutes had Morelia take the control away from Pumas and played out to get their 2-0 win while Pumas faltered.
The start of Guede’s tenure in Morelia couldn’t have been better with a Morelia team that didn’t start out well but gained control and got a deserved win. As the players get more used to the tactical ideas from Guede, Morelia should improve and it might have enough time to get a playoff run.
Meanwhile, Pumas might have started a crisis of results away from the Estadio Olimpico Universitario. While Pumas has played well at home, this is their second straight away game where Pumas looked especially poor in the first half. Pumas will need to bounce back quickly and change things because it doesn’t seem that a Liguilla run can be made with just home wins against the weaker teams they face.