Pachuca handed Pumas another embarrassment as they got a 2-0 away win with a semi-alternate squad after Puente Jr.’s side ended with 10 players yet again. Coach Rafael Puente all but signed the end of his tenure after they suffered a bad loss at home with an uninspired team that couldn’t make up for going down to 10 players again.
Pachuca came into the match with some changes from their last match while Pumas had a very similar one to their Cruz Azul lineup. In the games’s first dangerous approach, after a 1 vs 1, De La Rosa hit the post and the ball bounced off Pumas’ keeper Sebastian Sosa and into the net, but it was clearly offside and the goal was disallowed. Francisco Figueroa then got off a left-footed shot in the area that forced Sebastian Sosa to make a good save. In an incredibly boneheaded play, Gustavo del Prete made a tackle on Erick Sanchez that at first was judged to be a yellow, but after going to VAR, it was correctly ruled to have been a red. It was Pumas’ sixth red card of the season. Pachuca came close to scoring when Israel Luna got into the area, but a good play from Sosa forced him to dribble out of bounds. Figueroa got off a great shot as well that Sosa got a hand on, resulting in the ball hitting the post in the best chance of the game. Incredibly enough, Pumas held on to the scoreless draw at least until halftime.
The second half began with Pumas subbing out Juan Ignacio Dinenno and Higor Meritao for Diogo de Olivera and Santiago Trigos. To the surprise of many, it was Pumas who had most of the possession at the start, even with only 10 players. Off a corner, a second play occurred and a cross into the area found a wide open Jose Castillo, who headed the ball past Sosa. It appeared he was offside, but after going to VAR, the goal stood and Pachuca took the 1-0 lead. Pumas subbed out Eduardo Salvio for Carlos Gutierrez in a baffling move. Off a good dribble, Hinestroza got into the area and his right-footed shot was saved by Sosa. Immediately after Pumas subbed in Alek Alvarez, Pachuca took a free kick that surprised the home side (maybe because of the substitution) and Hinestroza got a run and sent the ball into the area where Mauricio Isais fired a shot form close range to score the goal and give Pachuca the 2-0 lead. Soon after, a pass into the area saw Arango fire again from close range, but this time was met by a great save from Sosa. The matche ended with yet another couple good saves from close range by Sosa, as Pumas looked dead in the water.
Pumas are in a terrible crisis which shouldn’t surprise anybody. After news came out they were going to sign Rafael Puente as coach, most fans couldn’t believe it and thought it was a terrible move. Lo and behold, exactly what they had feared happened, as Puente has done a terrible job and Pumas have played awful, While the news about Dani Alves’ arrest hurt the team, there really are no excuses for such a terrible season, especially discipline wise with 6 red cards so far. For a second straight home game, they went down to 10 players, a suicidal move in the heat of the 12 PM timeslot. Pumas lost both matches and looked poor doing so. The final minutes of the match showed a broken team and fans went all out, but despite Puente’s firing, the terrible job from management, especially Leopoldo Silva and Miguel Mejia Baron will continue to handicap the team. Meanwhile, Pachuca bounced back to get a key win after their huge failure in the CONCACAF Champions League against Motagua, although it appeared they played a team today in worse form than the Honduran one. They will have a tough task when they return from the international break to face Cruz Azul, while Pumas could potentially go in as underdogs to face struggling Queretaro in a great display of how far they’ve fallen.