Pumas closed out a great week of play by getting their third straight win, defeating Xolos by a 3-1 score. Pumas had only gotten a single victory in the season but they suddenly had three straight victories and are right on the cusp of entering the Repechaje zone. Pumas was overly superior to a Xolos team that sits in last place, showing why they are in that position with a very weak performance in Mexico City. Pumas now face a tough away trip to Pachuca while Xolos travels to Guadalajara to face Atlas.
The firstst half started with Pumas coming out with various changes from the starting lineup that won in Leon, including the return of Alan Mozo, Favio Alvarez, and Leonel Lopez. Pumas wasted a three-on-three opportunity when Alvarez decided to shoot instead of pass, and his shot went wide. Tijuana answered back with a free kick that was almost deflected into an own goal by Pumas after it deflected off the wall, but it went wide. Later Pumas’ goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera had to make a great save off a shot from Mauro Manotas. Pumas came really close off a corner kick when Nicolas Freire rose to get a great header, but it went just wide. They came close again off of a corner kick, but Juan Ignacio Dinenno failed to connect after being wide open. Then after a cross by Sebastian Saucedo into the area Dinenno failed to connect but fell in the area and the referee gave a penalty kick, although replays showed it was a dubious call. The referee went to the VAR and rightly called it off. A minute later Alvarez got a shot from outside the area and it went just wide, hitting the sign and fooling a lot of people in the stadium and at home. Pumas came close again with a pass in the area found Dinenno, but his shot went wide. Then off a corner kick, the ball was cleared into the path of Erik Lira, who got a great cross into the area that found a wide open Arturo Ortiz, who headed the ball past Tijuana’s goalkeeper for the 1-0 lead. It was a deserved lead that Pumas took to halftime.
The second half started with Pumas looking to build on their lead. It would come two minutes later with a terrible mistake from Xolos. Orozco tried to get a free kick but Esteban Pavez lost the ball and Juan Ignacio Dinenno pounced with a right footed shot that went past Orozco for the 2-0 lead. Pumas continued to dominate as Tijuana looked shaken. After a couple of minutes, Pumas once again got a great goal after a combination play finished with a cross into the area that Favio Alvarez wonderfully volleyed past Orozco for the 3-0 lead. Pumas subbed out Sebastian Saucedo and Higor Meritao for Marco Garcia and Alek Alvarez. Tijuana almost answered after Pumas lost the ball, but Manotas’ long range shot went wide. Tijuana subbed out Christian Ramirez and Cristian Ortiz for Marcel Ruiz and Fidel Martinez. Pumas then subbed out Leonel Lopez for Amaury Garcia. Off a free kick, Martinez made a cross into the area that turned into a shot and forced Talavera to make a great save. In the ensuing corner kick, the ball went into the area and Pumas failed to clear the ball and Vladimir Loroña got into the ball and with a low left footed shot he would score the 3-1. Xolos subbed out Erick Castillo for Ettson Ayon. Pumas wasted another chance after a three-on-two was finished by Alan Mozo whose shot went wide. Tijuana subbed out Lucas Rodriguez for Miguel Sansores. Pumas countered by subbing out Juan Ignacio Dinenno and Favio Alvarez for Christian Battochio and Diogo de Oliveira. Pumas had a another chance when Lira got off a shot that went just wide. Mozo got into the area and lobbed the ball over Orozco, but it well went wide. It would be the last chance as Pumas was able to get their third straight victory.
Pumas had their best performance of the season on Sunday by defeating a very poor Tijuana. In only the second game in front of the fans, they showed to be superior to the last-placed Xolos and getting a deserving win. Pumas will still need to improve against better opposition than that faced in their two home games, although their midweek win over Leon showed that they might have it in them to get points in their final three games. Pumas will need to do so as they are currently still just outside of the repechaje zone, but at least they chose the right time to get their best performance so far in the season. They will need to keep at it for their key match away to Pachuca. Tijuana meanwhile sits in last place and is the only team out of contention for the repechaje as they currently await the last games including their tough away match against Atlas, where once again they should be expected to lose another three points.