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Chivas increase Pumas’ crisis with road victory

Chivas took advantage of UNAM’s big defensive mistakes to grab a 2-1 win in Mexico City.

Pumas UNAM v Chivas - Torneo Clausura 2023 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Chivas’ improvement continues with a second straight win after defeating Pumas in CU by a 2-1 score. They took advantage of a Pumas team in crisis taking an early 2-0 lead that they would hold on to, although with much luck after UNAM’s multiple missed chances. Chivas climb to 4th place based on a solid week while Pumas are on the opposite path.

Pumas came out from the start with Eduardo Salvio while Chivas once again came out with Daniel Rios and Ronaldo Cisneros. A cross into the area from Roberto Alvarado was headed in from close range by Daniel Rios past keeper Sosa for the 1-0. For a second consecutive game, Pumas allowed a score early in the match. But they would respond. A cross into the area went past Juan Ignacio Dinenno and turned into a shot that Chivas’ goalkeeper, Miguel Jimenez saved. A cross into the area found a wide open Diogo de Olivera, but his shot went terribly wide. Salvio made a great play and got off a great shot from outside the area, but Jimenez would come up with a great save.

Unable to make their opportunities count, another mistake, this time off a corner kick, Pumas allowed Carlos Cisneros to get a wide open header from close range that left Sosa with no chance at all as Chivas took a 2-0 lead. And the visitors came close to scoring again when a pass turned into a shot from Ronaldo Cisneros that Sosa saved. Arturo Ortiz would get off a shot from way outside the area that bounced off Jimenez but Gilberto Sepulveda was able to clear the ball before Dinenno got to the rebound. And just like that, Chivas went into the half with a solid two goal lead.

The second half started with Pumas subbing out Adrian Aldrete for Alek Alvarez. Chivas had a chance when a bad clearance left the ball for Rios, whose shot was easily saved by Sosa. In a bad miss, Chivas lost the ball and allowed a 2 vs 1 counter, but Diogo made a good pass to Dinenno, who took too long with the ball and fired off an awful shot that went wide. It’s been a constant for Pumas all season. A shot from outside the area from Ortiz once again forced Jimenez to make a save.

Later, Ruvalcaba lowered a ball and passed to Pablo Monrroy, who crossed it into the area and was headed in by Juan Ignacio Dinenno from close range, but was ruled offside. Replays showed he was onside but there was a doubt that the offside could’ve been on Ruvalcaba before the cross. VAR would correctly allow the goal and Pumas had made the game 2-1. Pumas kept pushing for the equalizer with constant crosses into the area, but most were very poor. In the last minute, a cross into the area was pounced on by Gustavo Del Prete, but his shot was saved by Jimenez. The match would end with a scuffle between Diogo and Jesus Orozco, resulting in a yellow for Diogo. The ref went to VAR and decided to give Diogo a red and Orozco a booking. It was the fourth red card for Pumas this season, which with this loss officially goes into crisis mode.

It has been a disastrous week for Pumas. Three matches played since Saturday and three straight losses with 9 goals conceded shows that Pumas’ defense has been incredibly weak. After a good start with two home wins, Pumas’ season has declined steadily with constant defensive mistakes and half of their matches ending with 10 players. Coach Rafael Puente wasn’t received well by fans and so far hasn’t done anything to change people’s minds with Pumas’ defensive mistakes becoming the standard from the start of the season. Pumas will now have a key match away at Mazatlan where they hope to end their 15 match away streak without a win. On the other hand, Chivas had a very positive week that started with an away tie against defending champions Pachuca. On Wednesday, they got their first victory at home against Xolos and have now climbed all the way to 4th place with their win over Pumas. Still, Chivas should keep things in context as both Xolos and Pumas are struggling and at times were better than the Rebaño Sagrado. Goalkeeper Miguel Jimenez was key, especially on Saturday. Their true test will be next Saturday against Tigres in Monterrey, where they already defeated Rayados, but will have a tougher test than their previous two.