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Pumas crush Atletico San Luis and rise to second place in Liga MX

Pumas get a strong 4-0 win over Atletico San Luis and are the only undefeated team in Liga MX

Pumas UNAM v Atletico San Luis - Torneo Clausura 2020 Liga MX Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images

Pumas once again rose to the occasion at home, crushing Atletico San Luis with a 4-0 win. It seemed to be a tough match for Pumas, facing an also undefeated team under ex-Pumas coach Guillermo Vasquez. Pumas however took advantage of the home conditions and outlasted a San Luis team that wilted as the game went on. With this and also the losses by Chivas and Necaxa this weekend, Pumas now remains the only undefeated team in Liga MX, and under Coach Michel they remain a strong force at home. They will now have to travel and face the only other team that plays on Sunday at noon when they travel to Toluca next week. San Luis meanwhile will return home where they face a tough match against current Liga MX leaders, Leon.

When the game started, Pumas tried to take advantage from the start with a long range shot from Sebastian Saucedo that went wide. A minute in it looked like a San Luis player had been brought down in the box but after going to the VAR, it was ruled correctly as having been offside. After the attack, San Luis continued to try to attack but Pumas had more of the possession. A scare for Pumas happened when Luis Quintana got a yellow card for a foul and the ref went to VAR for a possible red card, but it was allowed to remain a yellow card foul. After that Pumas came close with a shot from Marco Garcia. San Luis then had the best chance so far in the game when Anderson Julio got a shot in the area, but Pumas’ keeper Alfredo Saldivar made a great save. San Luis tested Saldivar again with a long range shot by Matias Catalan but he stopped it as well. Pumas finally had a good chance when off a counter, Saucedo got a shot off that San Luis’ keeper Carlos Felipe Rodriguez, barely saved. Then off the ensuing corner kick, the ball fell twice to Pumas players who got shots off that Rodriguez saved. Then on the final stop, the rebound fell to Favio Alvarez, who shot it into the net for the 1-0 lead. A scare for Pumas happened soon after when Julio fell in the area, but the ref rightly saw it as a dive and yellow carded him. Pumas had a good chance when Carlos Gonzalez got the ball in the area but after getting past a player, he couldn’t get to the ball before a San Luis defender cleared it. Gonzalez again wasted a great chance when they had a three-on-one and instead of looking for a wide open attacker, he shot the ball and the defender blocked it for a corner kick. Then off a free kick, Pablo Barrera got a great cross that found Gonzalez in the area, and he slid into the ball to get it past Rodriguez to make it 2-0. Pumas went to halftime with a strong 2-0 lead.

The second half started with San Luis trying to get back into it by subbing in Carlos Gutierrez, another ex-Pumas player, for Oscar Macias. San Luis went on to the attack and the ref declared a penalty kick after Nicholas Ibañez fell in the area after battling with Quintana. Once again though VAR corrected things as Ibañez was correctly ruled offside. Alvarez missed a great opportunity for his second goal of the game when he went in alone against the keeper, but his shot was saved by Rodriguez. After a spell where San Luis dominated the run of play, Pumas had another great opportunity when Alvarez and Gonzalez went one-on-one against a San Luis defender, but the play ended with Gonzalez getting a left footed shot past Rodriguez that unfortunately hit the post. Pumas then subbed out Favio Alvarez for newer signing Juan Ignacio Dinenno. It didn’t take long for Dinenno to make an impact, as a minute into his shift he made a great play outside the area and got off a long range shot past Rodriguez to make it 3-0. The goal seemed to have settled the game as San Luis would have a extremely tough time making a come back from down three goals. San Luis tried to battle back but it looked like most of their energy had been zapped out of them in the hot sun. Then in a great play Dinenno found Alejandro Mayorga, who made a great run through the left side. Mayorga then crossed the ball into the area and into the path of a wide open Carlos Gonzalez, who got a great shot past Rodriguez for the 4-0. San Luis tried to respond almost immediately when Luis Reyes made a great long range shot but Saldivar got to it and sent it to a corner kick. Then in the play after the corner kick, the ball fell in the area to Ibañez but his shot just went inches wide, but he was also offside. Pumas subbed out Alan Mozo, who had been injured in the week and didn’t have a great game for Jesus Rivas in their last substitution of the game. San Luis had another good opportunity when Ibañez made a good move in the area but his shot was right to the hands of Saldivar. Later on Ibañez got a shot in the area but it went wide.

This win might be one of the most solid of Michel’s term as Pumas head coach. Not only was it done with a big score but it also makes a statement about Pumas dominant behavior at home. Pumas pressured and looked at ease at home during the midday sun while once again the away team wilted away. It also great news that Carlos Gonzalez got two goals and gave the best performance of the season. While Pumas had been playing great, Gonzalez hadn’t been having a great start even when he’s considered Pumas’ best player. Yet the best news is probably the arrival of Juan Igancio Dinenno, who scored his first Liga MX goal and which was the best goal of the game. Dinenno was Pumas’ big signing and a future partnership with Gonzalez is great news for Pumas. Better yet is how after a rocky start, Alejandro Mayorga had a great game which is great news for Pumas and possibly the Mexican Olympic team. Meanwhile San Luis needs to improve because while this is only their first Liga MX loss of the season, they currently sit at twelfth place and have only gotten one win on the season. Still under coach Vasquez, they looked more solid than last season and should improve as the tournament progresses. Meanwhile they have to look forward to a tough match at home against the league leaders in Leon while Pumas will also have a tough match away to a Toluca team that has been looking a lot better than last season.