Pumas improved somewhat but continued a terrible season with a 0-0 tie at home against Queretaro. Pumas continued to produce very little on offense, and although they had a good start, they were outplayed for stretches as they faced a Queretaro side that isn’t one of the contenders for the title. Pumas went down to 10 players and actually had the best play of the match during that time, but it was still not enough to even get their first lead of the season. Pumas will now travel for their midweek match against Necaxa in Aguascalientes, while Queretaro will have a tough visit that same day against Tigres.
The first half started with the news that Julio Gonzalez would continue as the starting goalkeeper instead of Alfredo Talavera. They also came with two forwards from the start, Juan Ignacio Dinenno and Emanuel Montejano. Dinenno had a good shot early on that just went wide. Later on it was Alan Mozo who had a shot that was cleared by the Queretaro defense. The good start would end up with an even match after a few minutes. After a Queretaro player was brought down by Ricardo Galindo, the ref gave a penalty kick to Queretaro. Replays showed that the foul had been outside the area, but the ref took a long time to go to VAR before finally checking and correcting himself. Queretaro was still awarded a free kick and got a good shot that forced Gonzalez to make a save. Pumas came close when Sebastian Saucedo got off a shot in the area that hit the post and go out. Later Queretaro answered back when Nicolas Sosa got a free header from close range, but his header hit the post. The halftime whistle blew and although Pumas had a better start that in past games, they still hadn’t scored and thus didn’t have their first lead of the season.
The second half started with Pumas hoping to open the scoring against a Queretaro side that was looking for the same thing. Pumas had the first opportunity when a shot from Saucedo from outside the area went just wide. Queretaro looked like they had scored a great goal when Kevin Ramirez got the ball and bicycle kicked it to the net, but it was correctly ruled to be offside. Later Queretaro quickly took a free kick which forced Erik Lira to clear the ball. Off the ensuing corner kick, Ramirez got a header that forced Gonzalez to make a save. It was clear that Queretaro had taken control of the match in the second half. Pumas made changes by subbing out Washington Corozo and Emanuel Montejano for Angel Garcia and Higor Meritao. Queretaro then subbed out David Cabrera and Raul Torres for Kevin Balanta and Pablo Gomez. Queretaro came close again when a cross into the area didn’t connect with two Queretaro players that got into the area. Pumas then came close to scoring an own goal when Nicolas Freire tried to clear the ball and wound up forcing Gonzalez to make a save. Pumas subbed out Sebastian Saucedo and Cristian Battocchio for Favio Alvarez and Marco Garcia. Queretaro then subbed out Nicolas Sosa for Luis Madrigal. Pumas made a good run that was wasted by a poor lob shot from Dinenno. It would be his last play as he was subbed out for Gabriel Torres. It was a clear sign of how big Dinenno’s struggles are as he was visibly mad at himself as he came out, knowing he has been at a subpar level. Pumas made their best play off the match when a combination play between Torres and Alvarez ended with the latter lobbing the ball over goalkeeper Washington Aguirre, but it hit the post and went out. A minute later, Alvarez kicked Omar Mendoza after a foul and got a straight red card. The referee went to VAR but the decision held as Favio Alvarez continued being the worst player on a very weak squad. Pumas had a great shot when Torres got the ball from outside the area, but it would be just inches wide. Pumas then had another chance when a good cross from Mozo lead to a great header from Ricardo Galindo, but Aguirre made a great stop. Queretaro had a good counter attack but the shot was blocked by a defender.
Pumas improved a little but it was still not enough to get the team out of the mediocre season so far. Coach Andres Lillini continues to disappoint since that magical season where the team got to the Liga MX Final. The team can’t seem to score, and top striker Juan Ignacio Dinenno continues in a terrible slump. Unfortunately the team doesn’t have bench players to replace those starters who aren’t up to par. They will have a tough visit to Necaxa, who are one of the weaker teams so far but got a surprising away victory against Atletico San Luis. Queretaro meanwhile should rue the fact they failed to take advantage of a Pumas side that was down to ten players and isn’t playing well. While overall they could be considered the better team in the game, it was by a slight difference. They will now have a much tougher away game against Tigres on Tuesday, and they will probably not have an opportunity for an away victory they had this Saturday afternoon.