Pumas and Chivas gave a poor spectacle as they tied 0-0 in their return to Liga MX after the FIFA break. It was a first half for Pumas and a second half for Chivas, but neither of the teams gave a good performance as the scoreless tie was a surprise with both teams terribly underperforming in the season. Pumas will now have to travel first to the United States to face Leon in the Semifinal of the Leagues Cup and then return to Mexico to face Mazatlan next Saturday, while Chivas goes back home to face Pachuca.
The first half started with both teams having a number of missing players. Chivas came out without the injured Alexis Vega, while Pumas had missing Juan Ignacio Dinenno, Alan Mozo and Angel Garcia, all of whom were red carded against Toluca. Julio Gonzalez also started as goalkeeper instead of Alfredo Talavera, who had been with the National Team in their World Cup Qualifiers. Pumas had a great opportunity a minute in when a cross into the area found a wide open Higor Meritao, but he failed to control the ball and it went into the path of Sebastian Saucedo, who then booted the ball into the stands with his shot. It was as good a chance as possible, and it was wasted. Pumas continued to have the ball more, but Chivas were good at controlling them offensively. Pumas also had some opportunities for good attacks that they would waste by losing the ball in the final third. Pumas had a good chance when Favio Alvarez got a ball in the area, but his left footed shot was well saved by Chivas’ goalkeeper Raul Gudiño. Chivas then wasted a great chance when Isaac Brizuela got into the area and made a pass that found a wide open Jesus Godinez, but his right footed shot went well wide. It was their first chance and a great one at that, but Godinez wasted it. Pumas had a three-on-three which ended with Alvarez getting another left footed shot that Gudiño saved. In the last minute of the half, Emanuel Montejano tried to get to a ball and started to limp, looking like he sprained himself. The halftime whistle blew.
The second half started with Pumas subbing in Jose Rogerio for the injured Montejano. Unlike the first half, it was Chivas who was having more of the possession while Pumas continued to have problems getting the ball and holding on to it when they had it. Pumas subbed out Sebastian Saucedo and Higor Meritao for Washington Corozo and Marco Garcia. Chivas had a good chance but it ended with a shot that was blocked by a defender, which lead to a good counter attack that finished with Corozo being fouled by Antonio Briseño. Chivas subbed out Jesus Godinez and Jesus Sanchez for Carlos Cisneros and Gilberto Sepulveda. Later on they subbed out Antonio Briseño and Jesus Molina for Hiram Mier and Sergio Flores. Chivas had a great opportunity after Gonzalez gave the ball away to Brizuela, who then gave a pass to Uriel Antuna, who had his shot blocked brilliantly by Gonzalez. Pumas then subbed out injured Leonel Lopez and Favio Alvarez for Alek Alvarez and Amaury Garcia. Corozo was able to make his way into the area and get off a shot that forced Gudiño to make another good save. Chivas had an incredible chance when a long ball had Cisneros go on a one-on-one, but he took out Julio Gonzalez and then shot wide with a wide open goal. It would be the last chance, as the last minutes had some fight but no football and the match finished 0-0.
Sunday showed that the terrible level of both Chivas and Pumas is a reality, as neither team has a squad capable to live to their gloried histories. Pumas was really hurt by missing Dinenno and then having his replacement in Montejano go out injured. The Brazilian (Meritao and Jose Rogerio) signings continue to prove fans right in their disappointment when they were announced, while other players fail to live up to the level expected. Pumas had constant trouble on basic plays like lowering the ball on a long ball and holding the ball when receiving a pass. Chivas also is a total disappointment to their fans. Chivas’ coach Victor Manuel Vucetich continues to be extremely defensive when his substitutions were all prioritizing their defensive aspects and hoping to get a tie, not risking it for a win. Chivas fans feel the team is not offensive enough and with Angel Zaldivar out, the fact that Oribe Peralta didn’t see a minute even when Chivas was the better match is a good sign that things will continue like this under Vucetich. Chivas will now travel back home to face a tough team in Pachuca while Pumas will have to travel to the US to face Leon in the Leagues Cup, a match where they will be heavy underdogs. They then return to Mexico to face a struggling Mazatlan but with their current level, they won’t be favored in that match either.