The first game ending in a tie in the Estadio de Mazatlan “Kraken” happened on Saturday when after a lackluster display, Mazatlan FC and Pumas finished 0-0. The teams played what was by far the worst 45 minutes played in the tournament so far, and although they picked it up in the second half it wasn’t enough to either break the tie or consider it to be a good game. Pumas will travel to Monterrey where they will face Tigres, while Mazatlan will also be traveling to face their next match against Pachuca.
The game started with Pumas playing their first game ever in Mazatlan by giving Leonel Lopez and Juan Iturbe their first starts of the tournament, while Mazatlan suffered an injury in the pre-game warmups and thus Carlos Vargas would miss the game for Efrain Velarde. Being at home Mazatlan started out as the more offensive team, including a great play from Martin Rodriguez that was ruled offside. Pumas had their first opportunity when a cross reached Juan Ignacio Dinenno but his header went wide. The game evened out, with neither team creating much on the offense. Later on it was Mazatlan who dominated possession while Pumas just chased the ball around as they played. Pumas finally had a clear chance in the 43rd minute when Carlos Gonzalez was wide open on a throw in and he got off a shot that was blocked by the defense into a corner kick. In the play it looked like a handball by Mario Osuna, but the referee didn’t give the penalty kick after checking with the VAR. The referee blew the halftime whistle and ended the miserable play that both sides showed in the first 45 minutes of the game.
The second half started as the rain started falling on the field. Pumas looked to be more offensive and subbed out Luis Quintana for Jeronimo Rodriguez. Minutes in, a mistake by Pumas left Sebastian Saucedo with an incredible chance in the area but he made a terrible shot that went wide. At the start of the second half, Pumas was dominating for the first time in the game. To counter, Mazatlan subbed out striker Fernando Aristeguieta for Miguel Sansores. Pumas then subbed out Saucedo for Carlos Gutierrez. Pumas had another chance when Johan Vasquez got to rebound from a corner kick, but his left footed shot went over the bar. Later it was Gonzalez who got to a cross but his header went straight into Mazatlan’s keeper, Miguel Fraga. Mazatlan had the debut of Camilo Sanvezzo after he was subbed in for Mario Osuna. Minutes later he almost had a great impact and Mazatlan had the best chance of the game when a cross by Sanvezzo found a wide open Sansores, who headed the ball to top post and then Pumas keeper, Alfredo Talavera got to the ball. They would threaten again when Cesar Huerta shot was saved by spectacularly by Talavera. Pumas answered when a good cross by Alan Mozo found Carlos Gutierrez, but his shot went wide. Mazatlan came close when a mistake in the area for Pumas, gave Mazatlan a shot that Talavera blocked. Pumas needed to regain possession by subbing out Leonel Lopez, who had a lackluster performance, for Favio Alvarez. Alvarez then proceeded to make a terrible foul and get a yellow card a minute into his performance. Later Mozo fell in the area with a sliding tackle from Nicolas Diaz, but the referee didn’t give a call in what looked like a dubious play. Mazatlan looked like they had another play after Sansores fell after a clash with Talavera, but the play was called offside. Pumas made the last substitution when Iturbe was subbed out for Erik Lira, making it another disappointing performance from Iturbe in the season. Mazatlan answered with Martin Rodriguez got subbed out for Candido Ramirez. In the last minutes of the game, Pumas got a couple of corner kick and Carlos Gonzalez got a shot off that Fraga stopped and it was later called offside. The ref whistle and the terrible display ended with a just 0-0 score.
Pumas and Mazatlan are two of the teams that have left a lot of doubts in their fans and so it’s not surprising that both teams struggled, giving such a weak performance Saturday night. Pumas continues to be undefeated but after their improvement against Monterrey on Wednesday night, they went back into the mediocre level that was showed at home against FC Juarez, in which they tied against a team with nine players. Mazatlan meanwhile was at home but rarely pushed Pumas and after their first win at home against Toluca, they had two bad performances in this tie and a loss against Necaxa. They will need to improve when they travel to Pachuca to face the the hosts on Monday. Pumas meanwhile look like their undefeated record will end as they face Tigres in the Estadio Universitario in Monterrey, a place where they have suffered a lot of times and will probably do so against next Saturday.