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Monterrey surprises pathetic Pumas to grab a key away victory

A late goal gave Monterrey the 1-0 victory over a Pumas side that wasted every advantage they had.

Pumas UNAM v Monterrey - Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Monterrey shocked a terrible Pumas side to get a 1-0 victory in Mexico City, getting three key points. Rayados overcame injuries all throughout the match, ending up giving opportunities to youth players as well dealing with the tough heat from Pumas home stadium. On the other hand, Pumas wasted all those advantages and then ended up putting forth their worst game of the season, just after giving their best one against Cruz Azul. Monterrey will return home to face Tijuana and in a midweek match, while Pumas will travel to Aguascalientes to face Necaxa.

The first half started with Pumas once again returning with the sole forward up top; this time it was Gabriel Fernandez getting the nod instead of Juan Ignacio Dinenno. An early shot from Cesar Huerta almost got deflected in, but Monterrey’s goalkeeper Esteban Andrada was able to get back and get to the ball. After Monterrey lost the ball, Huerta had another chance but his shot was deflected to Andrada in a mistake, since he could have made a pass to the better positioned Fernandez. Because of injury, Erick Aguirre had to be subbed out for Sebastian Vegas in the 11th minute. Later, Jordi Cortizo took a bad fall and look to have injured his arm badly. He got medical attention but needed to be subbed out for Rodrigo Aguirre. After just 17 minutes into the match, Monterrey had already made two substitutions and had used two of their three windows to make changes in the match. A harsh foul by Christian Tabo on Hector Moreno looked dangerous, but incredibly not even a yellow card was given. The match then started to get chippy, with a number of yellow cards being given as the ref showed to be out of his league. After getting the ball in the area, Huerta got off a shot that went just wide. A great pass by Huerta found Eduardo Salvio, but his left footed shot was saved by Andrada. After a clash, it looked like Adrian Aldrete was hurt and needed medical attention. Off corner kick, Huerta ended with the ball but his shot went right to Andrada. The whistle blew and after an awful first half, the teams hoped to improve in the next 45 minutes.

The second half started with Pumas subbing out Christian Tabo for Juan Ignacio Dinenno. Pumas had their best chanceof the match when a cross in the area was headed by Dinenno over Andrada, but Moreno made a great bicycle kick clearance almost off the line and saved Monterrey. Minutes later a cross into the area reached Dinenno, but his left footed shot was awful and went right to Monterrey’s defense in a terrible miss. A pass into the area that Dinenno failed to control almost turned into a chance for Fernandez before a defender cleared the ball off his feet. Pumas then subbed out Gabriel Fernandez for Rodrigo Lopez. From way outside of the area, Lopez got off a great right footed shot that forced Andrada to make a great save. There was then a clash of heads between Aguirre and Nathanael da Silva, and both needed medical attention. Pumas subbed out Nathanael da Silva (because of the injury), Jesus Molina, and Adrian Aldrete for Gustavo del Prete, Roberto Ergas, and Arturo Ortiz. Monterrey meanwhile subbed out the injured Rodrigo Aguirre and Jonathan Gonzalez for Angel Jordan and Cesar Guzman. After a good play by Del Prete, he made a pass to Dinenno that looked to be handled by Victor Guzman, but incredibly nothing was given. The referee went to VAR, but the incompetent ref didn’t give the PK. Off of a corner kick, Pumas failed to clear the ball and it fell to Alfonso Gonzalez, who got off a left footed shot past Pumas’ goalkeeper, Julio Gonzalez and scored to give Monterrey the surprising 1-0 lead in stoppage time. Pumas tried to get that goal but in the end they couldn’t a ended up with a pitiful performance.

Two weeks after Pumas gave one of their best performances they proceeded to give one of their worst, and got a terrible result. After a number of injuries from Monterrey forced the team to make changes and with the strong heat and altitude at home expecting to benefit Pumas, they failed to take advantage of it and played as lethargic or more than the visiting side. Coach Antonio Mohammed spent the week before the match praising Monterrey, a club he had coached before and won his last Liga MX title with, and then proceeded to have his team give their worst performance, something that already happened last season where Pumas went to Monterrey and got crushed by them bya 4-1 score that kept the team out of the Liguilla. Now Mohammed has to pick things up and quickly, as Pumas plays against Necaxa on Friday. Monterrey meanwhile gets a huge boost as they climb all the way to fifth place and after a couple of bad performances and failures of getting the result, they overcame a lot to get the victory. They will hope to keep things up for their Wednesday match at home against Tijuana.