A great defensive display earned Pumas a hard fought 0-0 tie against Xolos last night. Pumas started as the better team, but a red card in the first 45 minutes gave them an incredibly tough obstacle to hurdle, which they eventually did despite being a man down for an hour. Xolos dominated the match after the red, but weren’t able to crack Pumas’ tough defense and the effective Sebastian Sosa. The universitarios will now return home to face Atlas while Xolos travel to Aguascalientes to face Necaxa.
Pumas had to adjust their starting lineup after the injuries sustained by Eduardo Salvio and Nicolas Freire would make them miss the match. The visitors kept having most of the possession early on, but weren’t creating any danger. Then, in an ill-advised play, Arturo Ortiz pverextended his leg while clearing the ball and clearly got his cleats into Jair Diaz’s leg, earning him a deserved red card. While Pumas had been the better team, a bad decision from one of their best defenders had changed things completely.
¡Pumas se quedaba con un hombre menos!— TV Azteca Deportes (@AztecaDeportes) January 28, 2023
Tarjeta roja para Arturo Ortíz tras una fuerte entrada.#MásAcciónMásDiversión
@calientesports te presenta los mejores momentos mientras apuestas y ganas https://t.co/UvZD9hks6G en #LigaMx pic.twitter.com/PtEQkFVvkL
After getting the ball in the area, Braian Romero got off a right footed shot that would hit the post. Xolos had their first chance of the match and it was immediately the best one of the game. Later, a bad clearance went right to Federico Lertora, who’s shot was saved by Pumas’ keeper Sebastian Sosa. The halftime whistle blew with a menacing Xolos coming close to scoring.
The second half started with Pumas subbing out Gustavo del Prete and Ricardo Galindo for Pablo Bennevendo and Santiago Trigos. Xolos subbed out Eduardo Armenta for Alejandro Martinez. A header into the area was headed by Alexis Canelo, but the ball went right to the hands of Sosa. Castañeda also tested his luck with great shot that forced Sosa to make a great save again. Dinenno responded for Pumas by firing from outside the area, forcing Xolos’ keeper Toño Rodriguez to make a save. In the ensuing corner kick, Dinenno won the header, but sent it right to Rodriguez. Pumas looked to have an incredible counter with a 2 vs 1 in which Diogo got by Rodriguez before getting dropped, but it was eventually ruled offside. Off a Xolos corner, Rodrigo Godinez rose to head the ball, but Sosa was there. In the last danger of the match, Tijuana asked for a PK when Nicolas Diaz fell in the area after a tackle, but upon checking VAR, the red determined there was nothing there. In the end, Pumas earned their away point despite Ortiz’s blunder.
While it wasn’t a pretty result, Pumas got a big point. Being down a man (on the road no less) a scoreless tie is a good result, especially after defense was Pumas’ weak point last season. On the other hand, it’s not a good outcome for Xolos, who have yet to win this season and lost a great opportunity to do so yesterday. They will now have a very tough match against Necaxa in which Coach Ricardo Valiño’s job might be in jeopardy. Pumas will return home where they will face an important match against an Atlas side that appear to be improving, although they’re still far from their back to back titles level.