America had their best performance of the season getting a 3-0 win over Pumas on Saturday night. Pumas were completely dominated after giving a terrible performance at home, although not as bad as last week’s performance against Barcelona, sending them into crisis mode. America took advantage of Andres Lillini’s team failure and got their best win so far this season, and are now set to improve their momentum. They will travel to Pachuca for their mid-week clash while Pumas travel to San Luis Potosi to face Atletico San Luis.
The 1st half began with Pumas’ Cesar Huerta debut in place of Leonel Lopez, as well as Adrian Aldrete’s return from suspension. America came in with their best starting 11. Pumas could have had a great chance off a corner kick but the ball was headed past every Pumas attacker. A harsh foul by Arturo Ortiz looked to hurt Diego Valdes, who needed medical attention. Jonathan Rodriguez came back with a left-footed shot that went just wide. Sebastian Caceres would get off a great right-footed shot outside the area that forced Pumas’ goalkeeper Julio Gonzalez to make a save. America had another chance when Valdes volleyed a shot in the area but it went wide. After the shot, Ortiz would trip him up and there was a small scuffle between the players. A great run from Zendejas into the area was stopped by Gonzalez, who took the ball off his feet. America had been the better team and were dominating a struggling Pumas. After a run into the area, Henry Martin lobbed the ball over Gonzalez and hit the post, but the ball fell right to Diego Valdes, who scored with a strong shot into the empty net for the 1-0. America had taken a deserved lead over a Pumas side that had performed poorly in the first half, just 6 days after their debacle in Barcelona. After the ball was lowered in the area, Rodriguez got a bomb of a shot off that Gonzalez saved miraculously. The 1st half ended with Pumas luckily trailing by just one score.
The 2nd half began with Pumas subbing out Cesar Huerta, Juan Ignacio Dinenno and Adrian Aldrete for Leonel Lopez, Diogo de Olivera and Jeronimo Rodriguez as they made their 2nd half adjustments. America subbed out Sebastian Caceres for Bruno Valdez. After a good move in the area, Eduardo Salvio got off a right-footed shot that was saved by America’s goalkeeper, Guillermo Ochoa. After a great pass, Jonathan Rodriguez got into the area and fired off a left-footed shot past Gonzalez for the 2-0. After a counter, the ball was headed to a storming Diogo, whose header fell right to Ochoa. Pumas subbed out Gustavo del Prete for Marco Garcia. The home team continued to struggle as America sat back and countered. The visitors subbed out Henry Martin and Alvaro Fidalgo for Federico Viñas and Pedro Aquino. Follorwing a Pumas’ defense blunder and a great play by Alejandro Zendejas, he got off a left-footed shot past Gonzalez for the 3-0. America subbed out Richard Sanchez and Jonathan Rodriguez for Jonathan Dos Santos and Miguel Layun. They came close again with a Valdes pass into the area that was cleared by Pumas’ defense. The game ended with America in the win column while Pumas embarrassed themselves for a second straight match.
A week after being the only undefeated team in Liga MX, Pumas have gone full into crisis. A trip to the Joan Gamper Cup against Barcelona turned into a 6-0 embarrassment, made worse by the fact that a week later, in the same stadium, lowly Rayo Vallecano have just drawn even 0-0 against Barcelona. Now, in a prime opportunity to bounce back against their biggest rival, Pumas were once again outclassed and were defeated 3-0 against America at home. Under Coach Lillini, the pattern repeats itself with the team not able to handle a bad loss. Last season they became the first Mexican team to lose a CONCACAF Champions League final against an MLS side since 1998. Pumas immediately went back to Mexico where they got bounced out of the Repechaje by Chivas with a 4-1 drubbing. Once again, Pumas looked totally shell shocked, losing against their biggest rivals in something that their fans won’t soon forget. On the other hand, Club America had by far their best performance in the Apertura 2022, and after a slow start that had raised doubts for Coach Fernando Ortiz, he’s now cleared himself of them with this win. Completely the opposite direction for Pumas’ coach Andres Lillini, who will have to bounce back quickly as they travel to face Atletico San Luis midweek. America will travel a shorter distance to face a tough side in Pachuca.