Atlas and Pumas continued their season struggles as their match ended in a 0-0 tie. Atlas sits 16th place and Pumas 17th with both team looking like they are out of the running for a spot in the repechaje, as both drop two points they desperately need. Pumas will have a must win game at home against bottom-placed Queretaro while Atlas will travel away to face Mazatlan in their mid-week matches.
The 1st half started with the return from injury of Eduardo Salvio which forced Gustavo del Prete to be benched, while Goalkeeper Julio Gonzalez also returned to start after missing two matches because of an injury. Meanwhile, Atlas had Julio Furch benched for Jesus Ocejo. A good, low shot from Diogo de Olivera forced Atlas’ goalkeeper, Camilo Vargas, to make a great save. Off a free kick, Ocejo rose to get a good header that would go just wide. Later, Ocejo would go on a 1 vs 1, but it would just go wide. A reckless crash from Jeremy Marquez ended dropping Diogo and although it looked bad on replays, thankfully there was no injury. After a great touch and go play, Salvio had a great chance to score, but Anderson Santamaria made a diving slide to clear the ball before he would had the chance to score. However, it also looked like he injured himself in the process. Minutes later, he had to get medical attention for it. It looked like Juan Ignacio Dinenno had a great chance when he got a 1 vs 1 with the goalkeeper, but not only did his shot go wide, he was also offside. The halftime whistle blew and unsurprisingly, both struggling teams gave a boring and lackluster 1st half.
The 2nd half began with both teams hoping to improve after a somber 1st half. A great pass from Dani Alves found Diogo, who got a shot past Vargas but the goal was overturned correctly due to an offside. Minutes later, Dinenno got off a great right-footed shot past Vargas, but it hit the post and unfortunately for Pumas, the ball rebounded too fast and bounced off Diogo, who missed the chance of getting an empty net shot. Later, it was Atlas who got a headed goal from Julian Quiñones correctly ruled to be offside. Atlas subbed out Jesus Ocejo and Ozziel Herrera for Julio Furch and Christopher Trejo. A cross into the area was headed wide by Dinenno from close range. Pumas subbed out Juan Ignacio Dinenno and Eduardo Salvio for Gustavo del Prete and Jorge Ruvalcaba. A great pass into the area found Diogo, but his shot was blocked by an Atlas defender and he was ruled offside, although replays showed it was the wrong call. Atlas subbed out Jose Abella and Luis Reyes for Diego Barbosa and Anibal Chala. A good cross by Trejo found Quiñones, but his shot went past Gonzalez and off the bar, and luckily for the Pumas goalkeeper, right back into his arms. After a great pass by Alves into the area, Del Prete got a great opportunity and then did a terrible job of lowering the ball and fired off a left-footed shot into the stands from close range. Atlas subbed out Edgar Zaldivar for Edison Flores. A good pass from Alves to Ruvalcaba was wasted when his shot went well wide. Pumas subbed out Cesar Huerta for Carlos Gutierrez. A great cross by Gutierrez was headed wide by Diogo in another wasted chance. A good cross by Ruvalcaba was just cleared by a defender before Diogo got to it. Then, off a counter, Quiñones got past Efrain Velarde, but a great play by Pablo Bennevendo stopped him from getting a shot off in the area. A great pass into the area found a wide open Ruvalcaba but he did a bad job dribbling past his defender and lost the ball. Atlas had what looked to be a great chance on a 1 vs 1, but Marquez fired a left-footed shot wide and had been incorrectly called offside. The match ended and although it saw improvement in the 2nd half, it ended as a poor result for both sides.
It was a lackluster match overall, but had moments with goals scored and also called back, as well as both teams hitting the post. The tie was a deserved result for both. Pumas continues to struggle although they looked much better, especially in defense with the return of Arturo Ortiz. Dani Alves had probably his best game since arriving at Pumas, but overall their forwards wasted a lot of opportunities; the worse by Gustavo Del Prete, who has been a total disappointment so far. Atlas had a couple of chances and Quiñones gave it his all, but overall they fail to create chances and their defense wasn’t up to par. Atlas will have a tough match as they travel to face Mazatlan while Pumas will have their biggest must win match at home against Queretaro, and anything but a win will make things extremely tough for Coach Andres Lillini.