Pumas faced an exhibition match against Spanish team Celta de Vigo and battled to a 1-1 tie. It was Pumas’ third straight tie after getting a 1-1 tie at home against Xolos and then wasting a 3-0 lead to get a 3-3 tie away to Leon in their two Liga MX matches played so far in the season. Pumas were the better team against a Celta side that is in the middle of their preseason and who suffered in the 2nd half from the Mexico City altitude as well as the rainy conditions. Pumas will stay at home where they will face Necaxa while Celta will travel to the United States to face the San Jose Earthquakes in another preseason friendly.
The game was delayed because Celta de Vigo’s equipment failed to arrive in Mexico and they had to get other equipment, not to mention the pouring rain in Mexico City. Pumas didn’t have Gustavo del Prete or Adrian Aldrete because of injuries. A cross into the area was headed by Diogo de Oliveira with a diving header that forced Celta’s goalkeeper, Ruben Blanco, to make a great save. Celta wasted a great chance when a cross into the area was deflected by a Pumas defender right to Iago Aspas, who got a header from close range but went wide in a terrible miss. Then off a free kick, the cross into the area from Eduardo Salvio was brilliantly headed by Diogo de Oliveira from close range and it would go past Blanco for the 1-0. Off a corner kick, Blanco had to make a diving clearance before a Pumas player could head the ball in another good chance for Pumas. Pumas came close to scoring again when a cross into the area of a free kick was bouncing around the area with Pumas having chances from close range but Celta was able to clear the ball from close range. Then, just before halftime off a cross into the area, Iago Aspas was wide open and got a free header that went easily past Pumas’ goalkeeper Julio Gonzalez for the 1-1 tie. Pumas had a defensive mistake that would send the game tied into the half.
The 2nd half started with Pumas subbing out Diogo de Oliveira for Marco Garcia while Celta subbed out Williot Swedberg and Goalkeeper Ruben Blanco for Miguel Rodriguez and Ivan Villar. Pumas claimed for a PK after Salvio was brought down in the area but it wasn’t given. Pumas had a good chance when Garcia got past a defender in the area and got off a left footed shot that would go just wide. Pumas would sub out goalkeeper Julio Gonzalez and Nicolas Freire for Gil Alcala and Adrian Aldrete. A cross into the area was headed wide by Juan Ignacio Dinenno. Celta would sub out Iago Aspas and Hugo Mallo for Oscar Rodriguez and Kevin Vasquez while Pumas would sub out Carlos Gutierrez for Jeronimo Rodriguez. A cross into the area found Dinenno, who got off a right footed shot that was saved by Villar. The rebound fell to Rodriguez, who whiffed on the shot. A great cross from Aldrete found Dinenno, who had a terrible miss from close range from his header. Minutes later, he would have another terrible miss when a pass into the area found Dinenno but his left footed shot went wide. Celta subbed out Gabriel Veiga for Sergio Carreira. Pumas had another chance when a cross into the area was headed by Salvio, but his header would go just inches wide. Pumas would sub out Leonel Lopez for Emanuel Montejano. They kept pushing into the area as Celta looked tired but weren’t able to get off shots. Pumas should have gotten a better result but in the end the match finished in a tie.
Pumas had a good performance overall but once again, problems on both sides allowed Celta to even the score. As a La Liga side, Celta is the better team, but since they are barely starting their preseason while Pumas’ tournament already started as well as the fact that they played in the altitude of Mexico City, it seems Pumas had a great chance to get a win, but bad misses from Dinenno and a bad mistake from the defense in Aspas’ goal meant they could only get a tie. It is Pumas’ third straight tie and although they look to be playing well offensively, their defensive woes have already cost them in every match played so far. They will have to try for a win against Necaxa at home on Sunday while Celta continues their preseason friendly tour with a match in San Jose against the Earthquakes.