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Pumas’ mistakes end up giving tie to Atlas

Pumas lost a lead at home and ended with a 2-2 tie against Atlas.

Pumas UNAM v Atlas - Torneo Clausura 2023 Liga MX Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

A missed penalty kick and a red card helped Pumas give up a tie against Atlas by a 2-2 score after having a 2-1 lead at halftime. Pumas had done well, but the missed penalty kick that would have placed the score at 3-1 and a red card that left Pumas with 10 players up until the end of the match sunk them. While Pumas had been the better team, the red card especially changed the tempo and Pumas ended being lucky to only get tied. Pumas will now travel to have a tough match against Tigres, while Atlas returns home to face a tough Monterrey.

The first half started with Pumas having to makes moves to replace the still injured Eduardo Salvio and the suspended Arturo Ortiz, while Atlas came out with their best 11. From outside the area, Gustavo del Prete got off a left footed shot that forced a save from Atlas’ goalkeeper Camilo Vargas. The game became very even with a couple of hard fouls from both teams. Off a free kick from Brian Lozano, the ball went right through every player and turned into a shot that forced Pumas’ goalkeeper Sebastian Sosa to make a save. Off of a corner kick, Alek Alvarez got off a great cross into the area that Juan Ignacio Dinenno jumped and connected with a great header, knocking it past Vargas for the 1-0 lead. After Atlas almost lost a ball by Julian Quiñones, Higor Meritao commited a very stupid foul and got a yellow card. The foul would be even worse for Pumas when Brian Lozano took the free kick and hit a magnificent shot that gave Sosa no chance to make a save, going into the net for the tying 1-1 goal. A shot from outside the area by Dinenno made Vargas make another save. After a good combination play, the ball was deflected by an Atlas defender right into the path of Diogo de Olivera, who got off a strong low right footed shot past Vargas for the goal and the 2-1 lead. The halftime whistle blew and after a slow start from both teams, the match improved in the final 15.

The second half started with Atlas subbing out Jaziel Martines for Jeremy Marquez. Minutes into the the second half, Ricardo Galindo fell. Galindo had been hit on the head by a clearance in the first half, and the concussion protocol came into effect. Galindo was subbed out for Pablo Bennevendo. A great counter for Pumas ended when Vargas got the ball off the feet of Meritao. A cross into the area found Quiñones but his header went well wide. Then a ball got into the area and Diogo got past Vargas, but was brought down and the ref incredibly didn’t give the foul for a penalty kick. It was an incredibly bad call, but the ref went to VAR and correctly then give the PK to Pumas. Juan Ignacio Dinenno stepped up to take the shot, but his right footed shot was stopped by Vargas. Atlas then subbed out Cristopher Trejo, Jose Abella, and Luis Reye for Alejandro Gomez, Diego Barbosa, and Anibal Chala. and Anibal Chala. Atlas had a great counter, but a sliding tackle by Bennevendo saved them from a sure goal. Then after another lousy foul, Higor Meritao got his second yellow card, leaving Pumas with 10 players. After a longball, Diogo got past his defender but had a terrible lob over Vargas that went well wide in a terrible miss. A cross into the area was headed by Quiñones but his header hit the post. Pumas would sub out Diogo de Olivera, Gustavo del Prete and Alek Alvarez for Santiago Trigos, Ulises Rivas and Jorge Ruvalcaba. A longball into the area found Julian Quiñones, who volleyed the ball past Sosa for the 2-2. Atlas would try for a game winning goal, but time would run out and the match ended with the tie.

It was a wasted victory for Pumas fans. The bad miss by Dinenno but especially the red card for Meritao really hurt the match as Pumas ended the match with 10 players for a second consecutive win. Pumas will now have a very tough match against Tigres in Monterrey. While they played well when they had 11 players, their mistakes ended up costing them badly. Atlas continues to be undefeated, but still only have a single victory. Still it’s a great point for them after being outplayed up until they got the player advantage. They will need to improve at home when they face a tough Rayados team while Pumas travels to Monterrey to face Tigres in a game they will be heavy underdogs.