In the high noon heat of Mexico City, Pumas got a 1-1 tie against Monterrey. Pumas continued their undefeated streak, the only Liga MX team to do so, but they have tied five out of six matches, so they have only eight points. Monterrey had a good defensive display to maintain the tie and get a good away point. Monterrey now returns home to face Leon and Pumas will travel to Spain to face Barcelona in Joan Gamper Cup.
The first half started with both teams coming out with their best, including Dani Alves making his second straight start. Jesus Gallardo had the first chance when his left footed shot went just wide. Off off a long throw in into the area, Juan Ignacio Dinenno got off a header that also went just wide. Pumas had most of the possession, but weren’t dangerous at all as Monterrey sat back to counter. It seemed the extreme heat of the match was hurting both teams. Eduardo Salvio got the ball in the area, but his left footed shot went wide. Later, a cross by Salvio turned into a shot and it also went just wide. Then from outside the area, Jeronimo Rodriguez got off a great left footed shot that went past Monterrey goalkeeper Luis Cardenas for the 1-0 lead. Monterrey players protested because the play came from a possible foul, but the goal still stood. Then in the last seconds of the first half a free kick from Maximiliano Meza went into the area, and Nicolas Freire headed the ball past Pumas goalkeeper Julio Gonzalez in an terrible own goal for the 1-1 equalizer. The halftime whistle blew and after a truly wretched first 40 minutes, the excitement finally came with two goals at the end of the half.
The second half started with both teams hoping to improve on their lackluster performances up to that point. A Meza cross turned into a shot, forcing Gonzalez to make a save. Then a shot from Leonel Lopez went right into the hands of Cardenas. Because of an injury, Jeronimo Rodriguez had to be carted out, but he eventually returned to the match. Another throw in got into the area, where Dinenno headed it right to Cardenas. A good attack was wasted when once again Rodriguez fell injured. It was a stupid move for him to continue, and he might have made his injury worse. He was finally subbed out for Efrain Velarde. Monterrey meanwhile subbed out Jesus Gallardo and Rodolfo Pizarro for Alfonso Gonzalez and Celso Ortiz. A great chance then came for Pumas when a cross into the area was just barely missed by a diving Salvio. Then off a corner kick, Freire headed the ball into the center where Dinenno made a half volley that went past Cardenas and scored, but the referee went to VAR and ruled it offside. Rogelio Funes Mori then got the ball in the area and got off a left footed shot that hit the post. Pumas then gained dominance of the match as Monterrey went too defensively, and the heat seemed to have hit them harder. Monterrey subbed out Edson Gutierrez for Cesar Montes. Pumas meanwhile subbed out Leonel Lopez and Gustavo del Prete for Marco Garcia and Cesar Huerta. Later Pumas subbed out Pablo Bennevendo for Diogo de Olivera. A free kick from Alves was deflected right to Cardenas. A cross from Salvio was almost deflected into a goal, but Cardenas did a good job of holding on to it. Off of a counter attack, Gonzalez got off a great shot that forced Gonzalez to make a great save. It wound up being the final play of the match, as Pumas once again got a tie in a match they should have done better.
Pumas failed to live to expectations once again. With a very large crowd there to see Dani Alves’ second match with the club, Pumas took the lead but an own goal and a goal called back maintained the streak of getting ties. While Pumas continues to be the only undefeated in Liga MX, the numerous ties means that the team has only eight points, sitting in eighth place for the time being. Pumas will now have their big trip to Spain to face Barcelona in the Joan Gamper Cup, with their match against Puebla being postponed to a later date. Monterrey had a good defensive spell and were able to counter the heat to get an away point. They will return home to face a tough match against Leon, where their fans will hope they return to being more offensive that they were this Sunday.