Pumas “stole” a point from Tigres after a late minute goal gave them a 1-1 tie against Tigres. Tigres was the better side, but Pumas held on. Even though they went down a goal, they had two chances to tie the game which they finally did. To the surprise of most fans, Pumas continues being the only undefeated team in Mexico as they return home to face a slumping Tijuana. Tigres will hope to bounce back as they take their first trip to Mazatlan to face Mazatlan FC.
Tigres has a history of dominating in their home stadium, Estadio Olimpico Universitario, and was heavily favored against Pumas. It was not surprising at all how Tigres took control of the game almost immediately and pushed back on a defensive Pumas. Pumas decided to sit striker Carlos Gonzalez and instead went out with Juan Iturbe and Juan Ignacio Dinenno up top. Tigres went into the attack with Luis Quiñones wreaking havoc through the right side but failing to create much danger as he looked for Andre Pierre Gignac. It was Gignac who had the first true chance of the game, but his shot was saved by Pumas’ keeper Alfredo Talavera. Pumas tried to respond, but they failed to do much of anything except for sporadic drives that couldn’t find Dinenno. Tigres had the best opportunity of the game when Javier Aquino got a right footed shot that forced Talavera to make a save and sent it to a corner kick. The final minutes of the half had Pumas pushing up, but the score was tied at zero when the halftime whistle blew. Tigres had dominated, but Pumas had been able to keep the game scoreless.
The second half started with Pumas making the debut of their new Uruguayan signing, Facundo Waller, after he got subbed in for Amaury Garcia. Tigres meanwhile decided to attack even more by subbing out Jordan Sierra for attacker Julian Quiñones. The changes seem to benefit Pumas, who looked more offensive just as they had finished the first half. Tigres though had the first true opportunity in the half when Julian Quiñones rose up to get to a cross and head it but Talavera cleared the ball into a corner kick. Tigres decided to make another move, this time subbing out a tired Luis Quiñones for Raymundo Fulgencio. The game became more even and Tigres’ coach Ricardo Ferretti decided to send his main offensive substitution and he subbed out Eduardo Vargas for Leonardo Fernandez. It didn’t take long to make an impact when Fernandez took a corner kick which got deflected by the defense back to him. Fernandez then made a cross that was headed back by Fernando Meza to a wide open Andre Pierre Gignac, who volleyed the ball past Talavera for the 1-0. Tigres was the fair winner, although they had lowered their level in the second half. Pumas needed to answer back, and they subbed in Carlos Gonzalez for Carlos Gutierrez as Pumas went with two forwards to try to get a tie. Pumas looked to have gotten a lifeline when after a cross, Iturbe fell in the area after a foul by Javier Aquino and the ref gave a penalty kick. Young keeper Carlos Galindo had a great opportunity to make a name for himself as he faced Juan Ignacio Dinenno, who took the PK. Galindo guessed correctly but it didn’t matter as Dinenno’s shot was wide and out. Dinenno, who didn’t have a good game, looked nervous and it wasn’t surprising that he missed it although Galindo did a good job. It looked like Pumas would be finished by the emotional impact but a great play ended with a great cross that almost got deflected in by Meza into an own goal, in the first minute of injury time. Then in the ensuing corner kick, Erik Lira rose to head the ball back and find Carlos Gonzalez, who got to the near post and headed it past Galindo for the 1-1. It was a great set play and a very similar goal to the one Tigres scored to shock the northern team. Tigres tried to bounce back, but there wasn’t enough time and Pumas grabbed the away point with the tie.
The 1-1 tie is a great result for Pumas. Not only does it keep Pumas’ undefeated in the Apertura 2020 but it snaps a six game losing streak in Estadio Universitario. While Tigres overall was the better team, it wasn’t as great a performance and the tie wasn’t unfair. While Tigres had been the better side, they also hadn’t created many chances and Pumas had improved a lot in the second half. Now they’ll return home to battle against Tijuana. Tigres meanwhile will curse losing another win at home with a late goal, just as they did against Pachuca, where a late goal by Ismael Sosa also gave them a 1-1 tie. They will need to bounce back after two average results in their first trip to Mazatlan to face the local Mazatlan FC.