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Mazatlan and Pumas start slow but finish well in spirited tie

Mazatlan and Pumas tied 2-2 in a match that gained steam in the second half.

Mazatlan FC v Pumas UNAM - Torneo Apertura 2021 Liga MX Photo by Sergio Mejia/Getty Images

Pumas improved but couldn’t hold on to a lead and Mazatlan was able to come back, getting a 2-2 tie at home. It was a very poor first half from both sides, in which Mazatlan had taken the lead on a somewhat controversial penalty kick. The second half however had a Pumas side that was the better team but Mazatlan was able to get the tying goal in what might be considered a fair result, but one that both teams might rue losing two points, especially with the tough calendar. Pumas will now have a very tough trip to Monterrey to face Tigres, while Mazatlan will also have to travel to face Tijuana.

The first half started with Pumas coming out with the return of the suspended Juan Ignacio Dinenno and Alan Mozo to the lineup, while Washington Corozo also got the start. Mazatlan had their normal lineup as they hoped for the home win. It was a very even early minutes with neither team creating any opportunities. Mazatlan claimed a penalty when Camilo Sanvezzo fell in the area after a clash with Efrain Velarde but none was given. The referee went to VAR and gave the penalty. Sanvezzo stepped up to take the penalty, and with a right footed shot scored the goal past Pumas’ goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera for the 1-0 lead. Talavera got a hand on the ball, but it was too strong a shot. Mazatlan had a good run that ended with a cross into the area that Sanvezzo volleyed into the stands. Pumas then had a great opportunity when Corozo got a right footed shot that hit the post. The rebound fell straight to Higor Meritao, whose left footed shot went well wide when he had an open net. It was an incredible miss, and another mark on Meritao’s disappointing season. The rest of the first half had Mazatlan getting back control of the ball while Pumas tried to come back, but they failed to create much danger. Meritao got a long range shot that was easily saved by Mazatlan’s goalkeeper, Nicolas Vikonis. Favio Alvarez also got off a long range shot, forcing Vikonis to make a save. The first half whistle blew and without showing much, Mazatlan took the 1-0 lead to the locker room.

The second half started with Pumas subbing out Marco Garcia and Pablo Bennevendo for Jose Rogerio and Leonel Lopez. After a ball got into the area by a good pass by Favio Alvarez, Juan Ignacio Dinenno got off a right footed shot past Vikonis to make it 1-1. Pumas seemed to have hit at the right time, and minutes later off a corner kick Rogerio got a header that hit the post. The ball fell for Alvarez, who got off a left footed shot wide. Mazatlan subbed out Jorge Zarate for Emilio Sanchez. Later they subbed out Ivan Moreno and Camilo Sanvezzo for Michael Rangel and Salvador Rodriguez. Pumas subbed out Favio Alvarez for Gabriel Torres. Pumas made a good combination play that ended with a shot by Meritao that just went wide. Pumas then had a good opportunity when Dinenno got the ball in the area, but he made a bad cross to a teammate and it went wide. Mazatlan then subbed out Giovanni Augusto and Roberto Meraz for Sagir Arce and Daniel Amador. It looked like Pumas had scored with a shot by Jose Rogerio, but it was called offside. Replays however showed that it wasn’t offside. The ref was called by VAR and it was correctly given, with Pumas taking the 2-1 lead. It looked like Pumas was going to get the win, but Mazatlan had the final say when after they got the ball into the area. Pumas tried to clear the ball, but Nicolas Freire crashed it to a Mazatlan defender and the ball then fell to Daniel Amador, who got off a left footed shot past Talavera for the 2-2 tie. The goal was a big hit to Pumas, and Mazatlan took control of the possession as they pushed for the winning goal. Pumas had one more chance when they got the ball in the area, but the right footed shot from Jose Rogerio went just wide. The ref blew the whistle and Pumas got an away tie after improving their level in the second half.

Pumas improved somewhat from past performances, although they will curse dropping points after taking the lead late. It looked like Pumas had done enough to get the 2-1 win, but a bad defensive display allowed Mazatlan to get the late goal. It was a good performances from several players that hadn’t appeared before in the season, like Favio Alvarez, Jose Rogerio, and Leonel Lopez. Yet Pumas allowed Mazatlan to tie and lost what could have been a key win. Pumas will now have a trip into what could possibly be their worst venue to play in, in Monterrey against Tigres. They already carried a bad loss in their first trip to Monterrey against Rayados, and will now face a team in Tigres who they have struggled against even worse when facing them, and with a coach in Miguel Herrera who also had great numbers against them in his last job. Mazatlan meanwhile were able to get a tie, but they struggled at home against a Pumas team that hadn’t been playing in a good level and was coming in from a mid-week loss in the Leagues Cup. It was a great opportunity for them to pick points, and they failed to do so. They will have a match against another team that has been struggling in Xolos but will do so away in Tijuana, which is always a tough place to play.