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Pumas battles back to grab tie away to Puebla

Pumas came back from a 2-0 deficit to get a 2-2 tie against Puebla.

Puebla v Pumas UNAM - Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

Pumas got a point away against Puebla, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to get the 2-2 tie. Puebla started dominating, but Pumas’ substitutions were better and turned the tide of the match to get the very fair tie. Puebla should not be happy with dropping two points at home, as they’re starting to slightly stutter after s great start to the season. Pumas meanwhile will get a boost before their trip to Estadio Azteca to face Cruz Azul in the return leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals.

The first half started with Puebla coming out with their best eleven while Pumas made some subs knowing they had the CCL second leg Semifinal on Tuesday. Rookies Oliver Perez and Santiago Trigos made the start, while Pumas goalkeeper Julio Gonzalez took the spot for injured Alfredo Talavera. Puebla came out as the stronger team, but Pumas was able to hold on. Diogo de Oliveira had a good chance in the area, but his shot was deflected wide and didn’t threaten Puebla’s goalkeeper Anthony Silva. After a sliding pass for Gustavo Ferrareis looked to have been handle by Ricardo Galindo, the referee went to VAR to see if the ball hadn’t gone out of bounds before it. Seeing it didn’t, he called a penalty for Puebla. Pablo Parra stepped up to take the PK, and with a strong right footed shot, knocked it past Gonzalez for the 1-0 lead. A cross into the area was deflected by Silva, but no Pumas player was able to get the rebound and the ball was cleared. Pumas wasted a chance when a cross off of a corner kick was left in the area, but Jose Rogerio whiffed on his left footed shot and fell down, causing an incredible blooper. Pumas wasted the chance and paid for it. A cross into the area and Alan Mozo and Arturo Ortiz were caught ball watching, and Maximiliano Araujo took advantage by getting to the ball and getting off a left footed shot past Gonzalez for the 2-0 lead. Just prior to the end of the half, Diogo made a good play and got a cross into the area that this time Jose Rogerio wouldn’t waste, getting a right footed shot past Silva to make it 2-1. It was enough to make things interesting for the second half.

The second half started with Pumas subbing out Sebastian Saucedo and Omar Islas for Washington Corozo and Jorge Ruvalcaba. Two minutes in, Puebla’s Lucas Maia injured himself and had to be subbed out for Ivo Vasquez. After a good pass, Rogerio had a great chance in the area but his left footed shot went straight to Silva’s arm. Pumas then had a great chance when Corozo volleyed a cross, but a great defensive save from a Puebla defender deflected the ball into the path of Rogerio. His shot however hit the post and went out. Pumas subbed out Diogo de Oliveira for Juan Ignacio Dinenno. A cross into the area looked to be a good chance but Dinenno headed it wide. Pumas then subbed out Jose Rogerio for Favio Alvarez. Another cross by Mozo looked to have been a good chance, but Diego de Buen cleared it before Dinenno could connect with a header. Pumas continued to look for the tie and had taken control of possession. After a bad mistake from Ortiz, Araujo got an incredible chance to score but his left footed shot was brilliantly saved by Gonzalez, making a double save to stop what was surely the third goal for Puebla. Puebla then subbed out Fernando Aristeguieta and Pablo Parra for Guillermo Martinez and Martin Barragan. Then a great pass to Corozo allowed him the time and space to get a cross into the area, and Jorge Ruvalcaba connected with the cross with his right foot, knocking the ball past Silva for the 2-2 equalizer. A harsh foul by Martinez earned him a yellow card, but seemed to have hurt Leonel Lopez. It should have been a red but even after going to VAR, it wasn’t given (to be fair to the referee, the clearest replay was not shown in VAR). In the end the match ended with the 2-2 score to give a point to each team.

It was a convincing performance for a Pumas team that was giving priority to their match with Cruz Azul, but was still able to grab a point out of a tough venue like Puebla. Pumas was the better team in the second half and it was a just tie for the team. Pumas keeps adding points for a possible run in the Liguilla, as they hope to keep alive in both the domestic and continental competitions. Puebla meanwhile will kick themselves by not only giving up the lead but by allowing Pumas to control the match in the second half until they got the tie. Puebla wasted a key play after a mistake by Ortiz, and in the end the tie at home was deserved. Puebla will now have a tough away match against Leon next week, while Pumas returns home after their CCL match against Cruz Azul before facing Monterrey at home next Sunday.