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Pumas’ struggles continue after scoreless tie with Necaxa

Pumas and Necaxa battled to a boring 0-0 tie as the universitarios continue to search for an identity.

Pumas v Necaxa - Copa Por Mexico 2022 Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images

Pumas and Necaxa fought to a 0-0 tie in a game that disappointed the majority of viewers. Ex Pumas Coach Andres Lillini returned to the Estadio Olimpico Universitario with a Necaxa team that stifled Pumas in a result that hurts both teams. Pumas will now have a tough matchup against America in what will be their last in the Copa por Mexico, while Necaxa wait until next week to face Toluca.

The match began with Pumas once again coming mixing up their starting lineup with some youngsters alongside veterans like Juan Ignacio Dinenno up top and Adrian Aldrete and Arturo Ortiz on defense. A free kick from Aldrete was deflected and went close. A great cross from Daniel Gonzalez was just inches off the reach of Gustavo del Prete. Off a rebound, Gonzalez got off a shot that was deflected and forced Necaxa’s goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez to make a save. In a terrible mistake, Ortiz tried to lower a ball in his area and instead, left a great pass to Milton Gimenez, but he was able to then block his shot. The half ended, and although Pumas had been the better team, neither team created much danger in a very average 45 minutes.

The second half started with the same starting 11 for both sides. Gonzalez got a shot from outside the area that forced Hugo Gonzalez to make a save. Acter a ton of subs by both sides, Necaxa had a good chance when Battalini got the ball in the area and his left-footed shot was saved by Pumas’ goalkeeper, Julio Gonzalez. Off a corner kick, Diogo rose to get a header that was cleared off the line by Esquivel. Off a free kick, the ball bounced in the area where Meritao incredibly tried to head the ball to his goalkeeper, but instead hit the post. The ball bounced into the feet of Gimenez, but off the line, Pumas defense was able to clear it in the closest chance to score for either team. In the ensuing corner kick, Necaxa came close when Gimenez got off a shot that was just wide. It was the last opportunity as the game ended 0-0.

With only the group winners going to the final, Pumas are all but eliminated from the Copa por Mexico. A win against America on Friday would place Pumas with 5 points, but with Cruz Azul and America already at 4 and having two more matches to play, Pumas will probably be eliminated soon. The tournament has once again lowered Pumas fans’ spirits, especially since new coach Rafa Puente Jr, who was not a welcomed addition for most fans, has been unable to get this team back to playing high level football again. Necaxa sit a little better than Pumas with 1 more point, but are also on the verge of elimination. Like Pumas, they failed to show much offensive punch and will need to improve, but the expectations might be lesser than with Pumas. Either way, both teams are leaving a lot to be desired so far in the Copa por Mexico.