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Pumas suffer immensely but get their ticket to the semifinals with scoreless tie

Pumas got dominated but were lucky to get a 0-0 tie.

Pumas UNAM v Pachuca - Playoffs Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Pumas gave another terrible performance but were lucky once again as they got their ticket to the semifinals after a 0-0 tie. Once again Pachuca was the better team, and once again their lousy finishing benefit a Pumas team that wasted the opportunity to play at home and at noon. Pumas will now have a tough time in the semifinals, as they face the winner of the Cruz Azul vs Tigres series.

The first half started with Pumas coming on with the same starting lineup from the first leg, except with Carlos Gutierrez taking the place of injured Favio Alvarez. Pachuca meanwhile started with Roberto de la Rosa and Victor Davila up top, since they needed goals. Pumas had the first opportunity with a shot by Juan Ignacio Dinenno that was easily handled by Pachuca’s keeper Oscar Ustari. Pachuca meanwhile responded with a good cross that Pumas’ keeper Julio Gonzalez was able to get to before it reached Davila in the area. Pumas had the best opportunity so far when Alan Mozo got a shot off that forced Ustari to make a save. The rebound fell to Facundo Waller, but not only was his shot blocked by a defender but he was also ruled to be offside. Later Pachuca had their closest opportunity when Davila got the ball in the area, but his shot hit the post. Minutes later Pachuca had another dangerous counter that forced Gonzalez to punch out a ball before the cross. Pachuca had taken control of the match and Pumas was struggling. Davila would have another chance when he got the ball in the area, but he skied his shot. Pachuca would have another chance when Roberto de la Rosa got the ball in the area, but a great dive by Erik Lira saved Pumas. Pumas finally had a indirect chance when Mozo sent a cross that turned into a shot that Ustari deflected for a corner kick. Pumas had their best chance when Carlos Gonzalez found Carlos Gutierrez in the area, but his shot was saved by Ustari. The halftime whistle blew and Pumas was lucky to not be trailing.

The second half started with Pumas having the first chance off of a shot by Dinenno. Later Carlos Gonzalez came close with a shot that Ustari deflected for a corner kick. Dinenno later rose to head the ball off of a corner kick but it easily fell to Ustari. Pumas had improved after a terrible first half, but they were still not creating much danger. Pachuca tried to correct things by subbing out Victor Davila and Francisco Figueroa for Erick Sanchez and Ismael Sosa. Pumas had a good chance when Waller got off a left footed shot that just went wide. Pumas then subbed him out for Andres Iniestra. Pachuca had a dangerous opportunity that ended when a cross was deflected into the arms of Julio Gonzalez. Pachuca then subbed out Victor Guzman for Felipe Pardo and Emmanuel Garcia for Roberto Nurse. Pumas had a great opportunity with a counter attack that was three-on-three, but incredibly Gutierrez chose to shoot the ball and it went well wide. Gutierrez later was subbed out for Juan Iturbe. Pachuca made their last move by subbing out Rodolfo Salinas for Bryan Gonzalez. Pumas had another chance when Juan Pablo Vigon got the ball in the area but got off a terrible shot. Pachuca kept pressuring and Pumas was pushed back, depending on counter attacks. Pachuca wasted an incredible opportunity when Pardo got a header in the area and forced Julio Gonzalez to make a save. The rebound fell to Bryan Gonzalez who skied his shot from close range in what should’ve been a wide open shot. They later forced Gonzalez to make another save as Pachuca had Pumas reeling. Pumas made their final move by subbing out Dinenno for Bryan Mendoza. The last minutes were Pachuca pushing, but they couldn’t create any more dangerous chances and Pumas punched their ticket to the semifinals after a terrible performance.

Once again Pumas should count their lucky stars after a performance in which Pachuca was the better team and had countless opportunities that they wasted. Pumas will need to improve a lot, as either team they face in the semifinals (Cruz Azul or Tigres) will be a better team and have better forwards. Pumas has chosen the worst time to have one of the biggest drops in level of play of the season.

Pachuca played well, but will need to improve up top for next season as nobody came up to replace Franco Jara’s place. Still they fought bravely and for many neutrals, deserved better luck. Pumas meanwhile will need to improve in almost every aspect especially up top as Carlos Gonzalez and Juan Ignacio Dinenno are key to this team and their games against Pachuca were one of their worst this season. It doesn’t look good for their chances if they don’t appear in the semifinals.