Pumas and Chivas battled to a 2-2 tie on Halloween night as Pumas rose temporarily to second place. It was a great result for a Chivas team that was missing four players because of suspensions for conduct, their striker Jose Juan Macias because of injury, and their coaching staff because of positive COVID 19 tests. Meanwhile Pumas closed out their home season on a downward trend as they failed to get the win against a Chivas team with a lot of problems. Their level of play was severely lacking, as many players had below par performances. Pumas will now close out their season against city rival Cruz Azul in Estadio Azteca, while Chivas will hope things improve as they close out their season with a tough match at home against Monterrey.
The first half started with Chivas having all the suspensions and without a coaching staff, while Pumas came with their regular starting lineup. To the surprise of Pumas, Chivas came out on the attack with a 4-4-2 and Pumas was suffering. In the sixth minute, Alexis Vega made a good run and found Uriel Antuna in the area, who just volleyed the ball into the net, after being alone because of bad marking by Alan Mozo to give the visitors an early 1-0 lead. Pumas had been surprised, as they had a lackluster start to the game. Pumas had their first opportunity when Facundo Waller go the ball in the area but his shot was deflected by Chivas’ defense for a corner kick. Later Waller came close again with a right footed shot that went wide. Chivas then answered back with Ricardo Angulo, but his left footed shot went wide. Pumas came close again when a shot by Favio Alvarez was deflected into a corner kick. In the ensuing corner kick, Nicolas Freire rose to head the ball past Chivas’ keeper Raul Gudiño for the 1-1 tie. Pumas had improved after the sloppy start and the tie was deserved.
It looked like Pumas had taken control of the game, but then Pumas keeper Alfredo Talavera made a terrible mistake as he slipped getting to the ball, which almost gave Chivas a shot to the open net but the cross was cleared. Chivas started to get possession, although Pumas had another chance when Alvarez got a header that went wide. Chivas had evened out that game and at times looked more dangerous, while Pumas failed to get the ball in the midfield as Erik Lira was doing a poor job of replacing Andres Iniestra. Then off a corner kick, Jesus Molina rose to head the ball past Talavera for the 2-1 lead. Pumas was suffering and later there was big clash between Waller and Jesus Sanchez that ended with both players getting yellow cards after a big scuffle. The first half ended and Chivas had made a great performance, while Pumas had probably their worst first half at home this season.
The second half started with Pumas needing to improve while Chivas would be trying to continue to exploit their need. It didn’t take long for Chivas to take advantage as they had a two-on-one counter that had Antuna make a pass to Alexis Vega, who wasted an incredible opportunity by sending the wide open shot out. Later Angulo had a great opportunity, but his shot hit the post. Less than three minutes in and Pumas kept struggling while Chivas played the best so far in the game. Pumas tried to answer back, but Juan Ignacio Dinenno missed a chance with a bad header. Later Facundo Waller got a great left footed shot from outside the area that hit the post, as Pumas slowly tried to get back into the game. Pumas then subbed out Waller for Juan Iturbe in their first move of the game. Chivas had a good counter attack opportunity when Erik Lira lost a ball, but the ball was cleared off Uriel Antuna’s feet. Pumas could have had a golden opportunity when Dinenno looked to head the ball to Carlos Gonzalez, but Hiram Mier made and spectacular dive that sent the ball into Gudiño’s hands. Later a cross from Mozo was headed by Dinenno from close range, but Gudiño was able to save it. Pumas had another chance but Juan Pablo Vigon’s shot went wide. Pumas subbed out Juan Ignacio Dinenno, who had an awful game, for Leonel Lopez as they tried to spark some attack to go with their possession. Almost immediately after the move, Chivas had a good chance but Antuna’s shot was saved by Talavera. Pumas came close off of a free kick when Iturbe’s shot was deflected, and the ball went into a Chivas defender. The ball was left sitting there but Freire failed to get his foot into it and missed a point blank opportunity. Then afterwards Alvarez found Mozo, who then got off a great cross. Carlos Gonzalez rose up and made an incredible header past Gudiño to level the score at 2-2.
Chivas subbed out Angulo for youngster Alan Torres. Pumas got a boost from the goal, and later Mozo had a shot that was saved by Gudiño. Chivas got a good counter attack that was finished by a pass by Isaac Brizuela that was volleyed by Vega wide. Jesus Molina looked to be injured so he was subbed out for Oscar Macias. Pumas also made a move by subbing out Favio Alvarez for Carlos Gutierrez. Then after losing a ball, Mozo ended up crashing into Miguel Angel Ponce and got his second yellow card and thus a red. Pumas had been a little better but was now down to ten players. Chivas had control of the final minutes because of that, but they didn’t have a chance and the game ended tied.
While Pumas closed out their home season without a loss and in second place, it was a bad performance from the team. Players like Dinenno, Lira, Mozo, Alvarez, and Alejandro Mayorga had some of their worst games of the season and they suffered against a Chivas team that had a lot of problems coming into the match. The game also showed that Pumas loses a lot of advantages when they play at night. Pumas played five games at 12:00 PM and won four of them, while they played three games at night and failed to win a single game, getting ties in all of them. Pumas will now need to close out the season against Cruz Azul in a tough match in Estadio Azteca. Pumas will hope to do enough to end up in the Top Four and with the ticket to the Liguilla. Chivas meanwhile has their place in the repechaje booked but they still need to improve. It was a better game for them, with Fernando Beltran being key in Chivas improving their midfield. Still they continue to suffer on defense, and they will have a tough test against a Monterrey team that should make them pay if they make the same mistakes they did against Pumas.