For a third consecutive time, Club America have tied a match that should have been theirs for the taking. The ‘Aguilas’ took the lead twice only to allow Puebla to equalize both times. ‘La Franja’ were able to escape the Azteca with a point and will now face a big test as they welcome Monterrey in the Cuauhtémoc. America will also be at home squaring off against Mazatlan, where taking all three points is crucial.
The action started off right away as Puebla took the first shot of the game, but Luis Garcia could not finish his chance. A minute later, a penalty was called in favor of America for a handball in the box. The referee was able to check VAR and reversed his original decision as the ball hit the player’s hand after it bounced off his body. Twenty minutes later and the hosts are dominating the game but cannot find the back of the net. Part of it because Puebla were closing down any opportunities the ‘Aguilas’ might’ve had and the hosts themselves just couldn’t finish their chances. Alejandro Zendejas, who is known to be a critical player up the flank, had not made his presence known 25 minutes into the game. That all changed minutes later when Zendejas was able to get a cross into the box where Henry Martin was waiting and simply directed the ball into the back of the net with his chest to open the scoring.
Only a few minutes later and the azulcremas had an opportunity to go up by two, but Zendejas’ shot was saved by Antony Silva. Puebla were saved right before the half.
Going into the second half, Puebla still had a chance to tie the game up against an America team who would regret their missed chances. At the 52nd minute, ‘La Franja’ made a substitution that would hopefully get their offense going, and it did. The change kickstarted the offense and eight minutes later, the goal came on a corner kick when Gaston Silva equalized the game.
It’s no secret America have trouble defending against set pieces and this goal proved that once again. Oscar Jimenez blocked an initial shot by Puebla and Emilio Lara had to kick the ball out so no one could get the rebound. Looks like Lara learned his lesson from the week prior when Toluca scored off a rebound he didn’t kick out. The deadlock was broken not even 10 minutes later when Salvador Reyes sent in a cross into the box that was originally intended for Diego Valdes who could not get to the ball, but Zendejas was there to volley it into the back of the net.
Two minutes later, America had a scare when Puebla were awarded a free kick that they were able to defend well, which was surprising. Unfortunately, a few minutes later, another scare turned into reality when Puebla equalized once again on a free kick that was poorly defended. Both Israel Reyes and Emilio Lara were defending Emanuel Gularte, but even that wasn’t enough to stop the Uruguayan from getting his head on the ball and past Jimenez for the second time.
The rest of the game was spent with America pushing hard for a late winner, but Puebla and their defense stood their ground and closed off any opportunities America had. ‘La Franja’ almost shot themselves in the foot multiple times as they continued to commit unnecessary fouls, but thankfully for them, the ‘Aguilas’ could not convert those free kicks. Seven minutes of stoppage time were added on, and even that wasn’t enough for the hosts to retake the lead, even with all their chances. This leaves Club America with only three points after three games, and while the alarm bells should not be rung just yet, it is a bit worrisome that a team of this caliber has yet to win a game.