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Pumas bounce back to crush Leon and grab second straight home win

The universitarios cruised to a 4-1 victory over Leon in their second home match of the season.

Pumas UNAM v Leon - Torneo Clausura 2023 Liga MX Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images

Pumas bounced back from a hectic week to get their second straight win at home after crushing Leon en route to a 4-1 win. Pumas struck at key moments and overall were the better team and got their win after a week that started with a bad loss away to Santos, not to mention the club parting ways with Dani Alves. Pumas will now hope to get their first points away against Tijuana while Leon will have another tough visit away, now against Toluca.

The match got under way with Pumas surprisingly starting newly signed Jesus Molina while Leon had their usual starting 11. After battling for the ball, Gustavo del Prete found an opening and went into the area before lobbing the ball over Leon’s goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota for the 1-0. Pumas kept controlling possession after their score. Then, a great cross into the area from Ivan Moreno in one of Leon’s first opportunities found Lucas Di Yorio, who got off a great back heeled shot that went past Pumas’ keeper Sebastian Sosa for the tying goal that made it 1-1. Then, just before the half, a great cross from Higor Meritao into the area found Diogo de Olivera, who got a header past Cota for the 2-1. Leon still had time for another chance, but a cross into the area was lobbed out of everyone’s reach. Pumas had lost control of the match at that point, but that key goal in injury time gave them the one goal lead to take to halftime.

Both teams came out with the same 11 to start the second half. After a clash with the ball, it looked like Diogo had a knock on his head and had to have medial attention. Leon wasted an incredible chance when Yairo Moreno got a cross that found Angel Mena, but sent his shot well wide from close range. Pumas would have a great combination play that would end with Del Prete getting into the area and firing a shot just inches from Cota, who managed to block the ball, only to see it fall into the path of Juan Ignacio Dinenno, who easily pushed it into the open net for the 3-1. Leon’s player would protest for a possible handball, but replays showed the goal was legit. Some plays later, with a long ball headed toward Cota, he was forced to exit his area and clear the ball. Unfortunately for him, it went straight to Trigos, who then headed the ball into the path of a wide open Juan Ignacio Dinenno. He got into the area and calmly placed a shot past Cota for the goal that made it 4-1. Leon came close again off a free kick, when a header was just out of reach for Rubio to get a tap in goal. It would be the last chance as Pumas closed out their solid performance.

Pumas had a very chaotic week which started with a bad loss away to Santos by a score of 3-0. Afterward came the news that Dani Alves was off the roster after being detained in Spain for a sexual assault charge. Despite this, Pumas held strong and got one of the most solid wins at home over the past year. Leon weren’t totally outplayed and the score could’ve even flattered Pumas somewhat, but they were the best team on the day and got a deserved win. The UNAM squad will hope to keep things going as they travel to Tijuana, a venue where they’ve mostly struggled in. Meanwhile, Leon will hope to improve as they face a very similar situation when they visit Toluca next week, also on a Sunday mid-afternoon match.