Pumas improved over their last outing but couldn’t get the win, instead winding up with their second consecutive 1-1 tie, this time against Monterrey. It was a lively game, with both teams trading possession and it took a great game from Pumas keeper Alfredo Talavera to keep the tie. Pumas continues undefeated and although the level of play hasn’t been the best, tonight’s game was an improvement over past performances. Monterrey might be disappointed that they didn’t get the win, but they handled themselves well in a tough venue for them. Pumas will now make their first ever trip to Mazatlan while Monterrey will return home to face Necaxa.
The game started with Pumas and Monterrey both needing to bounce back after lackluster ties last weekend. Pumas had the first good chance when a cross into the area just missed the head of Carlos Gonzalez. Later off a corner kick, Alan Mozo came close with a long range shot that forced Monterrey’s keeper Luis Cardenas to make a great save. Later it was Amaury Garcia who got a shot in the area straight into Cardenas’ hands. Monterrey answered back with a couple of chances that weren’t strong enough to threaten Pumas. Monterrey almost made Pumas pay when Luis Quintana lost a ball and gifted it to Dorlan Pabon but after a pass to Rogelio Funes Mori, his shot went terribly wide. Then a great shot from Miguel Layun forced Alfredo Talavera, to make a great save. Pumas answered back with Garcia getting another chance in the area but his shot was deflected by the Monterrey defense. Later it was Juan Ignacio Dinenno who got a great shot that forced Cardenas to make another save. Then in the ensuing counter, Pabon got a great shot that forced Talavera to make a save. Then after a combination play, Alan Mozo got brought down by Daniel Parra in the area and the ref gave a penalty kick to Pumas. Juan Ignacio Dinenno took the PK and converted it with a right footed shot that Cardenas got to but couldn’t stop for the 1-0 lead. Pumas almost made it two when a cross found Gonzalez in the area, but he couldn’t get much force on his kick and it dribbled to Cardenas’ hands. In the last minute of the half, Monterrey got a free kick and looked to have scored on a header but it was ruled offside. There was no time left and Pumas took their lead into halftime.
The second half started with Monterrey going more offensive by subbing out Miguel Layun for Vincent Janssen. Pumas came close to scoring after a free kick almost went over Cardenas’ head and into the net but he was able to get the ball out for a corner kick. Monterrey had their best chance of the game when Funes Mori got the ball in the area. After getting past a defender, Funes Mori took a shot that Talavera made a great stop on after coming out to get to the ball. Pumas subbed out Jeronimo Rodriguez for Johan Vasquez, looking likely to sit back. Then Janssen fell in the area after Alan Mozo lost him and proceeded to push him, the ref gave a penalty kick to Monterrey. Nicolas Sanchez took the PK and despite Talavera making a bunch of antics before it, Sanchez converted for the 1-1. Talavera got a yellow card for his antics that in the end were useless. Pumas tried to answer back with Amaury Garcia getting subbed out for Juan Iturbe. Minutes later Pumas seemed to get an opportunity with Gonzalez getting the ball in the area but his shot went wide. Monterrey missed and incredible chance when Janssen got the ball in the area and took on Talavera, but his shot to the empty net went wide. Pumas subbed out Favio Alvarez and Alan Mozo for Jesus Rivas and Erik Lira. In the final minutes, Pumas got a free kick in the area but Gonzalez shot it straight to the wall. In the ensuing corner kick, Dinenno couldn’t connect with a ball inches away from the goal in what would have been a tap in goal, but he inexplicably failed to reach it. Minutes later the whistle blew and Pumas and Monterrey had gotten a deserved tie.
Pumas and Monterrey played an interesting match. Monterrey could be mad in only getting a point after having many chances, but they don’t necessarily play well in Mexico City and they needed a great game by Talavera to stop them from getting three points. Pumas meanwhile will be frustrated in the win escaping from them, especially with the Dinenno miss but they faced a better squad and held their own. It was a more improved performance from their terrible game against FC Juarez on Sunday, where they also tied 1-1 but Juarez had two players sent off and they still held them to a point. Pumas will now take their first trip to Mazatlan to face the uneven Mazatlan FC in a game where the result should be hard to predict. Monterrey meanwhile should be heavy favorites against a Necaxa team that just got their first win but is an inferior squad.