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Pumas strike at the right time to get win against Atletico San Luis

Pumas defeat San Luis by a score of 3-0 and continue to be in first place and the only undefeated team in Liga MX

Pumas UNAM v Atletico San Luis - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Pumas continued with their undefeated streak as well as being in first place in Liga MX after getting a 3-0 win over Atletico San Luis. It was far from Pumas best performance, but they struck at the right time against a spirited San Luis who did a terrible job offensively. Pumas continue getting the results as they get their fourth consecutive win, even when it was the lesser performance in those four games. They will now face probably the toughest matchup so far in their season when they travel away to Leon while Atletico San Luis will return home to face incredibly tough visits from Monterrey and Leon.

The first half started with Atletico San Luis’ starting lineup not as affected as expected because of the COVID-19 virus. Because of injuries, Pumas was also missing a couple of starters like Nicolas Freire, Favio Alvarez, and Juan Iturbe. San Luis almost surprised everyone when they had their first chance a minute in when Pablo Barrera got down a cross by heading it to Juan Castro, but his shot went straight to Pumas’ keeper Alfredo Talavera. They got close again with a header by German Berterame that just went wide. It looked like Pumas was getting surprised, but then they got a free kick which Juan Pablo Vigon took. Instead of crossing, he took a solid shot that was deflected by Berterama past San Luis’ keeper Axel Werner for the 1-0. In the first true opportunity, Pumas had taken the lead.

After a couple of even minutes, with a lot of conflicts, Pumas would get another chance with Vigon getting a shot that forced Werner to make a save. Atletico San Luis responded well with a couple of attacks which were controlled by Pumas, but still had them on their defensive end constantly. San Luis had to make a substitution when Ramiro Gonzalez got injured in the 38th minute and Dionicio Escalante entered in his place. Pumas had a great chance when Carlos Gonzalez got into the area and made a good pass that Juan Ignacio Dinenno couldn’t get to, in what would have left him in position to get a wide open shot in the area. In the final minute of the half, Luis Quintana incredibly lost a ball to Sergio Berterame, allowing him a shot that just went wide. The halftime whistle blew and Pumas had the lead but the game had been very even.

The second half started with another injury to San Luis, that had to sub out Enrique Lopez “Cadete” for Anderson Julio. It was Julio who had the best opportunity when he was able to get past the Pumas defense but when he got to the area, his left footed shot was saved by Talavera. Later Talavera had to go big again when he rose over the Pumas defense to clear a cross that would have been extremely dangerous had a San Luis player connected with it. It looked like San Luis had started better then second half, but it wouldn’t be long for Pumas to put things in their place. Alan Mozo made a great run through the middle and then sent a perfect pass through to Juan Ignacio Dinenno. Dinenno got a shot that Werner blocked but the rebound went straight back to Dinenno, who knocked the ball into the net for the 2-0 lead. It was Pumas first opportunity in the half, and once again Pumas took command of the match.

To make matters worse for San Luis, Anderson Julio got injured and had to come out for Diego Pineda, although by what Julio has shown for San Luis this season, it might have been a blessing in disguise. Pumas subbed out Leonel Lopez for Erik Lira. San Luis had their best chance when off a free kick, Matias Catalan had a header that went very close to going in, but it just went wide. Pumas subbed out Vigon for Bryan Mendoza as they looked to refresh the team. San Luis had another opportunity when Juan Castro had a cross that found Mauro Quiroga, but his header was well handled by Talavera. San Luis had another chance when Pablo Barrera got to the ball in the area but his shot went into the stands. Pumas tried to respond to San Luis dominance by subbing out Carlos Gutierrez and Andres Iniestra for Facundo Waller and Amaury Garcia. Almost immediately Alejandro Mayorga took advantage of the substitutions by getting off a shot that forced Werner to make a great save. On the ensuing corner kick, Waller got off a strong cross that crashed into Mauro Quiroga’s face and it went past Werner for an own goal and the 3-0 lead. Pumas had been lucky in the goal, although everybody seemed surprised at the strong cross that Waller sent into the area. San Luis tried to answer with a cross that Talavera handled well but then Diego Pineda crashed into his face, which produced a small fight between Pineda and Talavera. The last minutes had a San Luis team trying their best, but Pumas was able to handle well and get the victory.

With some luck but more importantly with striking at the right moments, Pumas got their fourth consecutive win. Pumas got a team that was hurt by a COVID-19 outbreak but still fought bravely and overall, Atletico San Luis had more of the possession. That being said, they did so when they were trailing from the 14th minute with Vigon’s goal and Pumas didn’t really need to step their foot off the gas pedal when they were leading 2-0 after getting an early second half goal. So most of San Luis’ really dangerous attacks came when they were trailing 2-0. After so many games, Pumas will rest up until next Monday, when they will face the tough matchup against Leon. If Pumas continue undefeated, they will face Necaxa at home and then face their biggest clash of the season against America. Atletico San Luis meanwhile should first decided if they are going to keep coach Guillermo Vasquez as they do return home but face two incredibly tough matches against Monterrey and Leon meaning that if Vasquez job is safe, it might just be for a short time.