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Pachuca and Pumas battle to tie before Leagues Cup break

In the final Liga MX match before the start of the Leagues Cup, Pachuca and Pumas ended with a 1-1 tie

Pachuca v Pumas UNAM - Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Pachuca and Pumas started the Leagues Cup break with a somewhat unexciting 1-1 draw, ending the first three weeks of the Apertura 2023 season. Pachuca was the better team, but failed to convert their numerous chances and Pumas took the road point. Pachuca will play a friendly against Real Oviedo as they skip the group stage of the Leagues Cup because of their Liga MX title win in the 2022 Apertura, while Pumas will make their Leagues Cup debut against CF Montreal.

The first half started as both teams came out with their best available starting lineup. After a header in the area, Lucas Di Yorio got off a right footed shot past Pumas’ goalkeeper Julio Gonzalez, but the goal was disallowed for a foul by Di Yorio. Replays showed that it was the correct call. A cross into the area was headed by a wide open Byron Castillo, but it went right to Gonzalez. Pumas then answered with a great counter in which Eduardo Salvio got off a good cross into the area. Gustavo del Prete slid and got off a left footed shot that went past Pachuca’s goalkeeper Oscar Ustari for the goal that gave Pumas the 1-0 lead. Off of a corner kick, the cross almost turned into a shot that forced Gonzalez into making a good save to punch and clear the ball. After getting the time and space, Elias Montiel got off a great shot that forced Gonzalez to make a save. On the ensuing corner kick, Roberto de la Rosa jumped and got a header that hit the post, and then he scored off the rebound. Replays showed that De la Rosa however had jumped on a defender to get to the first header, and the goal was disallowed for a foul after going to VAR. A shot from Bryan Gonzalez from outside the area forced Gonzalez to make a stop, leaving the ball right there for De la Rosa. Incredibly De la Rosa whiffed on the shot in an incredible blooper, and although the ball then fell to Di Yorio, his back heeled shot went right to Gonzalez, who easily saved it. Roberto de la Rosa then got into the area and lobbed the ball past Gonzalez when Nathan Silva tried to clear the ball, instead sending into the net for an own goal that tied the match at 1-1.

The second half started with Pumas subbing out Gustavo del Prete for Roberto Ergas. Off of a corner kick, Gustavo Cabral rose to get a header that forced Gonzalez to make a good save. A cross into the area forced Gonzalez to clear the ball in another save. Pumas then subbed out Juan Ignacio Dinenno and Pablo Bennevendo for Gabriel Fernandez and Pablo Monrroy. Pachuca meanwhile subbed out Bryon Castillo and Roberto de la Rosa for Jesus Hernandez and David Terans. Pachuca kept being more dangerous, as Pumas looked to have trouble getting possession. Pachuca then subbed out Bryan Gonzalez for Paulino de la Fuente. Terans got off a left footed shot from outside the area, but it went wide. Pumas subbed out Cesar Huerta and Ulises Rivas for Jorge Ruvalcaba and Santiago Trigos. A pass into the area was just out of reach of Teran, who ended up crashing into Gonzalez. Gonzales however held on to the pass. Pachuca subbed out Jahaziel Marchand and Miguel Rodriguez for Pedro Pedraza and Marino Hinestroza. Terans then got the ball in the area, but Arturo Ortiz made a great sliding tackle to clear the ball in what looked like a sure goal. Off of a corner kick, Hernandez headed the ball but Gonzalez easily saved in what would be the last play before the match ended in a tie.

The 2023 Apertura’s first three weeks of matches ended with a Pachuca vs. Pumas match that overall wasn’t very memorable. There were opportunities, but overall both teams failed to live up to expectations in an otherwise memorable day where Mexico’s Gold Cup win totally took all the attention away from the match. While Pumas took the early lead, overall Pachuca played the better match, and if there was a team that deserved the win, it was the home side. Still, they failed to actually get it, and overall the result benefits Pumas more, especially coming after their disappointing home draw against Mazatlan. Pachuca will play a friendly against Spanish little brother (also owned by Grupo Pachuca) Real Oviedo, while Pumas travels to make their Leagues Cup debut against Montreal on July 22.