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Pumas comes back in injury time to grab tie against Pachuca

Pumas was trailing 2-0 but battled to get a 2-2 tie against Pachuca.

Pumas UNAM v Pachuca - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Pumas came back from being down 2-0 to get a 2-2 tie in injury time against Pachuca. It looked like Pumas’ season was going to be done after going down and being one minute before two late goals gave the hosts the tie. Pachuca ends their four game winning streak and although it picks up an away point, players and fans will not be happy with letting the win slip from their fingers in the 90th minute. Pumas meanwhile will get an emotional boost from a game where they had played better and it would have been unfair for them to get the loss at home.

The first half started with Pumas coming out with only one forward in Juan Ignacio Dinenno as they played with an attacking midfielder in Favio Alvarez for Gabriel Torres, who was benched. Pumas would have the first chance from Erik Lira, who got a shot from outside the area and forced Pachuca’s keeper Oscar Ustari to make the save. Pumas had a good opportunity when Juan Pablo Vigon got a cross into the area and found Dinenno, who got off a left footed shot that went wide. Dinenno was guilty of being selfish, as he had two Pumas teammates in the area. Later Alvarez would get the ball in the area and got off a shot that went wide. After a couple of minutes, Facundo Waller took a good shot from outside the area that forced Ustari to make a great save. Pumas continued to be slightly better than Pachuca but were not making clear opportunities. And yet all those missed opportunities ended up costing Pumas. Pachuca gained a ball and from outside the area, and Ismael Sosa got off a great long range shot past Pumas goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera for the 1-0 lead. Sosa came to Mexico with Pumas, and getting back to his old stadium seemed to give him a boost and gave Pachuca an undeserved lead. Pumas tried to respond, but didn’t get another opportunity and they went into halftime trailing.

The second half started with Pachuca making two moves by subbing out Felipe Pardo and Kevin Alvarez for Francisco Figueroa and Matias Catalan. Two minutes into the game, a hard foul from outside the area earned Pachuca’s Miguel Herrera a red card. The ref went to the VAR however and reversed the decision. Pachuca then immediately subbed out Herrera for Oscar Murillo. Pumas made their first move by subbing out Facundo Waller for Juan Manuel Iturbe. Pachuca got a shot from outside the area from Sosa but it went well wide. Pumas subbed out Alan Mozo for Gabriel Torres. Then a great throw in was cleared into the path of Erick Aguirre, who got a header that forced Talavera to make a save. Unfortunately for him, the ball fell to Erick Sanchez, who got a left footed shot in the area and it got deflected past Talavera for the 2-0 lead. It looked like Pachuca had settled the game with their second goal. Pachuca subbed out Erick Aguirre for Efrain Orona. Pumas subbed out Favio Alvarez, who once again gave an awful performance, for Sebastian Saucedo. A corner kick from Pumas almost lead to a counter attack that ended with a shot from Figueroa that Talavera easily saved. Pumas had a chance when a ball was passed into the area, but Juan Pablo Vigon’s shot was deflected by Gustavo Cabral into a corner kick. Pachuca made their last move by subbing out Emmanuel Garcia for Miguel Tapias. Then a cross into the area in the 89th minute found a wide open Sebastian Saucedo, who headed the ball past Ustari to make it 2-1. Then in the next play, Pumas got the ball into the area and Orona tripped Juan Pablo Vigon, which made the ref give a penalty kick to Pumas. Juan Ignacio Dinenno stepped up to take it and connected a bomb with a right footed shot past Ustari to make it 2-2. Pumas had made a miraculous comeback to get a tie and keep their slim hopes alive for the season.

Pumas battled back to get an important tie, although they look to still be out of the repechaje zone. Pumas looks to be running out of time and with a tough calendar left, it seems that the Liga MX finalist from last season might be out of the running. Still they showed some passion to battle back and get two injury time goals to rescue a tie. A loss would probably have ended their chances. Pumas got a headed goal for the first time in the season and Coach Andres Lillini might learn from this game, especially in making moves like to stop having Favio Alvarez as a starter. Pachuca meanwhile gets a big hit. Although they are still improving, it ends their winning streak and because of the bad start to their season, they also might not have enough time to finish solidly enough to stay in the repechaje zone. Pumas will now travel to face another key match away to Necaxa while Pachuca returns home to face an inspired Puebla.