Pumas got their first win in Liga MX since February 13th when they defeated FC Juarez by a 1-0 score. Pumas once again struggled, but were able to take advantage of a goalkeeping mistake to get the victory and grab three key points in Liga MX. Pumas will now concentrate on the firstst leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal on Tuesday against Cruz Azul before traveling to Puebla for a Friday away match. FC Juarez meanwhile will have to concentrate on their Liga MX matchup away to improving America.
The first half started with Pumas resting some players for their Tuesday matchup against Cruz Azul in the CONCACAF Champions League. Jose Rogerio and Diogo de Oliveira were the starters at forward. Pumas had a great opportunity when a ball got into the area where Diogo got to it, but his left footed shot hit the post. Juarez then had a great opportunity when a cross into the area found Maxi Silvera, but his header went right into the hands of Pumas’ goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera. Juarez was having more possession, but Pumas was defending well, although they couldn’t hold on to the ball. Silvera was able to get the ball in the area and get off a left footed shot, but Talavera saved it and Silvera was ruled to have been offside. Then a good cross by Washington Corozo was headed wide by Diogo in the area, wasting a great chance. After a run into the area, Higor Meritao got off a great left footed shot from outside the area that was saved by Juarez’s goalkeeper Carlos Felipe Rodriguez. After that, a cross by Alan Mozo into the area looked like it was handled by a Juarez defender. It was initially missed by the referee, but ruled that it wasn’t after going to VAR and seeing a previous foul in the play.
The second half started with Juarez subbing out Martin Galvan and Flavio Santos for Gabriel Fernandez and Dario Lezcano. After a great run that turned into a one-on-one, Silvera got into the area, but his shot was brilliantly saved by Talavera in the best opportunity for Juarez in the match so far. A mistake from Juarez defense almost allowed Jose Rogerio a great chance, but he dribbled the ball into the hands of Rodriguez. After a great play that ended with the ball getting crossed into the area, Meritao had a great opportunity to score, but his close range shot was saved by Rodriguez. On the ensuing corner kick, the ball bounced off of the head of Diogo and Rodriguez had to make another good save. Pumas then subbed out Santiago Trigos and Omar Islas for Arturo Ortiz and Juan Ignacio Dinenno. Juarez meanwhile subbed out Maxi Silvera for Anderson Leite. After a cross by Corozo, Carlos Felipe Rodriguez made a terrible mistake by clearing the ball with his foot right to Diogo de Oliveira, who easily hit a left footed shot past him for the 1-0 lead for Pumas. It was a very bad mistake from Rodriguez in turning the clearance to a pass to Diogo and giving Pumas the lead out of nowhere. Juarez then subbed out Adrian Mora and Matias Garcia for Carlos Rosel and Candido Ramirez, while Pumas subbed out Jose Rogerio for Miguel Carreon, who was making his debut in Liga MX. Carreon then took his first shot, but Rodriguez easily saved it. After a cross into the area, Talavera bobbled the ball away but unlike Rodriguez, his mistake wouldn’t cost his team as Juarez got off a shot that was well wide. Pumas subbed out Washington Corozo for Jeronimo Rodriguez. After a corner kick, Pumas got a great counter attack that was finished with a great left footed shot from Mozo, but Rodriguez made a great save. It was the final play of the match, and Pumas held on to get back to their winning ways in Liga MX.
While the match wasn’t the best from either side, Pumas was still able to get a key win in a deserved result. Pumas was slightly better than Juarez, and although they never really dominated, they looked more dangerous than the struggling border team. Pumas is looking to be preparing for their CONCACAF Champions League match against Cruz Azul, and thus possibly why there were some moves like not starting with either Juan Ignacio Dinenno or Arturo Ortiz. The importance of the league result however meant that they got subbed in. Pumas got three key points as they hope to be kept alive in both continental and Liga MX tournaments. They will have a tough away match on Friday at Puebla, although right now all eyes are set on Cruz Azul. Meanwhile FC Juarez continues to struggle, and they look like they will miss out again on getting to the post season. They now have a tough away visit to Mexico City against an America team that won in Necaxa and will be looking to extend their winning streak to three games.