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Pumas brought crashing back to earth by dominant Morelia

Morelia was the better team and got a totally justified 2-1 win over a disappointing Pumas.

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

Morelia dominated a Pumas team who gave their worst performance of the year, defeating them 2-1. The win drops Pumas from first place and ends their undefeated record. Pumas took an early lead but were always second best to Morelia, and things got worse for them in the second half after a terrible mistake gave the team the tie. Morelia got the win in the final minutes in a totally deserved victory against a Pumas team that looked the worst it has all season. Pumas will now have a complicated two weeks, as they face an away game against Tigres before returning home to face their biggest rival America. Morelia meanwhile will have a boost for their home game against the surprising Cruz Azul.

The game started with Morelia going into the attack and surprisingly having the first chance when they got a corner kick, getting a free header off of it that went wide. A couple of minutes later it was Pumas who got a corner kick, but unlike Morelia they would make it count. The ball got crossed well into the area and Luis Quintana made a good move and was able to get to the ball and head it past goalkeeper Luis Malagon for the early 1-0 lead.

Pumas had another good chance shortly after when the ball fell in the area to Carlos Gonzalez, but his acrobatic shot went wide. Morelia had a dangerous chance when they got a free kick near the area, but Martin Rodriguez’ shot barely got deflected wide by the wall. Slowly Morelia started to get control of the possession while Pumas sat back and countered. Finally all of Morelia’s possession looked to have payed off when off a Morelia player was left wide open to cross the ball to Mario Osuna, who head it past Pumas’ keeper Alfredo Saldivar. Pumas got lucky however, as the ball though was then ruled to be offside by the VAR. Pumas then almost got a great counter, but Marco Garcia’s pass was too strong and Sebastian Saucedo did a terrible job of controlling the ball and lost it. Morelia came close again when a left footed shot got saved by Saldivar. Pumas had a couple of late chances but the halftime whistle blew.

The second half started with an incredible blooper by Saldivar that gave the tie to Morelia. Rodrigo Millar got a shot off straight to Saldivar, who blocked it and then lackadaisically tried to clear the rebound. Instead of clearing it, he bungled it into the net to even the score at 1-1. Pumas was reeling from the mistake, and Morelia had a couple of close chances. Pumas tried to respond and subbed in Juan Igancio Dinenno for Saucedo. Dinenno almost scored in his first play after a corner kick, but couldn’t control the ball before a shot was blocked. Saldivar almost gifted Morelia another goal when he went out for a ball and missed terribly and left the ball in the area, but Pumas’ defense scrambled to get it out before a Morelia player was able to get to a tap in.

Morelia continued having more possession, and overall Pumas hadn’t gotten back from the early mistake. Morelia came close to scoring again off a corner kick, but the ball just went over the head of a Morelia player who was in near range to the goal. Pumas subbed out Favio Alvarez for Ignacio Malcorra to try to get the game under control. Pumas came close when a cross fell into the area after a corner kick, but the ball fell to Malcorra who didn’t shoot when he had a better chance, instead crossing the ball right to a Morelia defender. Pumas slowly started to get more possession, and Morelia looked to be slowing down. Saldivar came up big twice when Morelia had two shots in the area, and he blocked both of them. Pumas made a sub when Juan Pablo Vigon got subbed in for Pablo Barrera. Pumas almost bungled into a goal when Malagon tried to clear the ball and bounced into a dashing Carlos Gonzalez and the shot just went inches wide from scoring. Morelia came close again when another deflection from a Pumas player almost made an own goal. Then a minute later, Miguel Sansores got the ball in the area and made a great move in the area and got a left footed shot past Saldivar for the 2-1 lead.

The game ended up being a huge disappointment for Pumas. Not only do they lose first place and their undefeated record, but they were also totally dominated at home. Pumas had been a strong home team, and this performance is terrible for a team that needs to be strong at home to have a chance in Liguilla. Pumas will now have a very tough three game stretch with away games against Tigres and Leon and with a tough home game against their rival America. Getting points against a Morelia team that was in 15th place was key, but they failed to do that and now are on the edge of a big fall. Meanwhile Morelia gets a huge boost for their struggles by knocking down the leading team in their home. Morelia had played better than their record showed and now looks set to rise up. Their game against Cruz Azul will be key and it looks like this could be the turn around game, just as their victory last season against Pumas was.