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Pumas and Toluca tie in a game marred by terrible finishing and fights

It was chaotic at times in a match where Pumas and Toluca ended with a 1-1 tie.

Pumas UNAM v Toluca - Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images

Terrible finishing ended up costing Pumas a win, as the were only able to get a 1-1 tie at home against Toluca. Pumas created many chances throughout the match, but wasted a number of chances including a terrible miss that would leave the game as just a 1-1 tie. Pumas will need to shake it up as they have to travel north to face FC Juarez on Tuesday, while Toluca will have to wait for their home match against Monterrey to be rescheduled because of Rayados participation in the Leagues Cup.

The first half started with Pumas coming out with Gabriel Fernandez as a starter and Juan Ignacio Dinenno being on the bench. Pumas wasted an incredible chance when Cesar Huerta got a cross into the the area and found a wide open Eduardo Salvio, but his header went well wide. It was a bad miss from close range. Pumas then had another chance when Huerta got in close and found Fernandez, but his header from close range was brilliantly saved by Toluca’s goalkeeper Tiago Volpi. Toluca answered in a big way. After an attack, Marcel Ruiz made a great pass that found a wide open Juan Dominguez, who got a right footed shot past Pumas’ goalkeeper Julio Gonzalez and into the net to give Toluca the 1-0 lead. It was Toluca’s first attack, but they made Pumas pay for wasting two great chances. Pumas had another great chance when Huerta got past his defender and made a pass that Gustavo Del Prete connected with, but it hit the post and then got cleared by the Toluca defense. Once again Pumas got very close but couldn’t score. Later Salvio got off a right footed shot that went wide and just out of reach of Fernandez too. Then a great combination play ended with a pass into the path of Cesar Huerta, who got into the area and got off a right footed shot past Volpi and into the net to give Pumas the goal and a deserved 1-1 tie. Off of a free kick, the ball was cleared by Toluca’s defense into the path of Del Prete, but his left footed volley went well wide. Pumas then missed an incredible chance when Huerta would get a low cross into the area but incredibly Salvio missed a wide open chance from close range when his right footed shot went wide. It was from so close that it looked tougher to send it wide that get it in goal. Maximiliano Araujo then got into the area after getting past a defender, but instead of shooting he tried to pass and failed to get the ball to a Toluca attacker. The halftime whistle blew and although Pumas had been the better team, they only had a tie to show for it.

The second half started with both teams hoping to improve in the second half. After a bad throw in, the ball fell into the path of Del Prete, who got off a left footed shot that went wide in a bad miss. Although Fernandez had been dropped on the play in the area, nothing was given. After a low shot from Dominguez, Gonzalez came up with a big save. Toluca subbed out Jean Meneses and Edgar Lopez for Mauricio Isais and Pedro Raul. Pumas then lost the ball and allowed a counter attack that finished with a right footed shot from Raul that was saved by Gonzalez. In what must be the worst miss of the season in Mexico, not just Pumas, Salvio made a great run and play and then got into the area and got a pass past Volpi and for just Fernandez to tap into the empty net but incredibly Fernandez lobbed it over the net and wide. It was an incredible miss, one of the worst maybe in years for Pumas. Pumas subbed out Adrian Aldrete, Pablo Monroy, and Gustavo del Prete for Roberto Ergas, Pablo Bennevendo, and Juan Ignacio Dinenno. Dominguez got a right footed shot in the area but Gonzalez was able to save it. Pumas then subbed out Ulises Rivas for Santiago Trigos. Toluca meanwhile subbed out Brian Garcia, Claudio Baeza, and Robert Morales for Jesus Piñuelas, Tomas Belmonte, and Jesus Ricardo Angulo. A shot from outside the area from Dinenno was saved by Volpi. Pumas then used their last window to sub out Gabriel Fernandez, who wasted his chance, for Carlos Gutierrez. Off of a corner kick, Pumas got a header but it went right to Volpi. After getting the ball in the area, Huerta tried to get past Volpi and the defense but had the ball taken off his feet. Pumas then got the ball after Toluca lost it, but after a good pass in the area, Huerta got off a right footed shot that went wide. Toluca then had a great chance off of a free kick where the ball ended up with Raul, but his header was blocked by Gonzalez. In the last minute, a foul near the benches ended with a huge scuffle that even had Andres Mosquera pushing a Pumas coach. Because of the fight, Piñuelas, who had gotten a yellow card off the foul that started the scuffle, got his second yellow card because of the fight and was red carded, which started another scuffle. The match ended in the middle of chaos, closing out a bad performance for Pumas at home in the end.

Pumas had a great opportunity to get their first home win, but terrible finishing from their foreign legion might have cost them the three points. Salvio, Del Prete, and especially Fernandez all had bad misses, although the one by Fernandez was so bad it might become a staple of blooper reels for years to come. Fernandez should especially rue his performance, as he got the start over Dinenno and wasted the opportunity. Pumas will need to improve on offense if they plan on doing something in the season, since they can’t depend on individual plays from Huerta and Salvio. They will have a tough task on Tuesday away against FC Juarez, who have been one of the most surprising teams so far in the season. Toluca will also need to improve as they came close to losing the match although it being an away game, it’s a better result for them.