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Match Preview: Pumas vs America

After a terrible opening match against Cruz Azul, Pumas will face their biggest rival America

Pumas got crushed in their first game and will need to bounce back to make it to the semifinals.
via @LigaBBVAMX

The second match day of the Copa GNP por Mexico will feature a Pumas team reeling from a shocking loss against Cruz Azul, and they will now have a tough task against their biggest rival, America. Pumas fans didn’t take kindly to getting crushed 4-1 against a Cruz Azul team that had a lot of problems because of COVID-19 sidelining a couple of players. Now they will face an America team who easily defeated Toluca 2-0 and are favored against a pressured Pumas.

The Copa GNP por Mexico is a preseason tournament that after months of not playing because of the COVID-19 emergency, and in fairness not much was expected from the teams in it. Yet if there was a team where a positive performance was expected, it was Pumas after Cruz Azul ran into trouble. Because of a number of positive COVID-19 tests, Cruz Azul was coming in without a lot of players and Pumas was coming in with the stronger squad and at home. Yet it was the total opposite and after giving up an early lead, Cruz Azul took control of the match and won 4-1. It was a big boost for their fans and a round of mockery to Pumas fans after the terrible performance. Now Pumas will face America in a match where there is little upside if they win, but a lot of downside if they lose. Not only will fans get mocked by their biggest rival but a loss will practically end Pumas’ run in the Copa GNP por Mexico. Only the top two teams in the group qualify to the semifinals, which will be played in the Estadio Olimpico Universitario, Pumas’ home stadium. So not only will a loss be against their biggest rival but it would lead to the stadium hosting a semifinal with no Pumas team in it.

Unlike Pumas, America had a positive start to the tournament. They easily defeated Toluca with a 2-0 win. Most of the team played well, and they were able to watch a couple of youngsters after changing the team completely in the second half. It went completely in their favor, and now they are looking at another positive situation in their second game against Pumas. After a bad loss and being in last place in the group, Pumas will come in with all the pressure, and thus America is in a prime place to take advantage of that. America already announced they will come out with the same squads that started against Toluca, except for goalkeeper, which means that they are building on their performance and thus should gel better than a Pumas team that looked disjointed against Cruz Azul. America should be favored and it looks they should at worst get a point that places them closer to the semifinals.

Pumas will have a tough task for their match against America. Their bad performance against Cruz Azul pushed them a step backward against a team that they would have had a tough task regardless. Now with mounting pressure from fans against a team that is on the up, Pumas might not have enough to make it through to the next round. America meanwhile can get another win and settle things that their last group stage game against Cruz Azul should have them qualified and thus all three games should go their way as they prepare for the upcoming tournament.

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