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Pumas back to winning ways by ending Tigres’ undefeated record

They held on to a 2-1 scoreline for their second victory of the season.

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

Pumas gave Tigres their first loss of the Apertura 2023 season when they defeated them on Sunday by a 2-1 score. Pumas were the better team and should have done better in terms of scoring, but once again failed to convert a number of chances and had to face a worrisome finish after a late goal by Tigres pushed them to the edge. Antonio Mohamed’s squad get their second victory of the season and will now travel north to face Santos in their last match before the September FIFA break while Tigres return home to face Santos in a midweek match on Wednesday.

The match started with Pumas having the return of Juan Ignacio Dinenno along with Gabriel Fernandez in what was a very offensive lineup. Tigres had Nicolas Ibañez taking the place of the injured André-Pierre Gignac. Tigres lost a ball that allowed Eduardo Salvio to get into the area, but his shot went well wide, a common occurrence for him. A cross into the area found Cesar Huerta, who got a right-footed shot off the post. Replays showed that after Huerta’s shot, he was fouled by a slide from Javier Aquino. The ref said the ball was out of bounds before the cross came in, and thus no PK was given.

A pass into the area by Salvio reached Fernandez, but his shot was blocked by Nahuel Guzman. A shot from outside the area by Ulises Rivas was also saved by Guzman. After a clash between Dinenno and Luis Quiñones, both appeared to be injured, especially the Tigres player, but they both remained in the match. Off a free kick, the ball fell to Huerta, whose header hit the post in an incredible chance. After making a great move in the area, Salvio got off a left-footed shot that was stopped by Guzman. In the ensuing corner kick, it looked like a possible PK by Samir on Fernandez, but nothing was called. With that controversial call, the halftime whistle blew and although Pumas deserved a lead, the match remained scoreless.

The second half started with Tigres subbing out Juan Pablo Vigon for Raymundo Fulgencio. The visitors started going more offensive in the early minutes, but it would end up being costly for them. Pumas had a counter and a long ball to Dinenno got blocked by a Tigres defender, but the ball went into the path of Gabriel Fernandez whose low shot from outside the area went through the arms of Guzman, placing the score 1-0. It was a terrible mistake for Guzman, who should have easily saved it, as the shot was neither powerful or near. Tigres would answer with Rafael Carioca getting a right footed shot from outside the area, but Julio Gonzalez was there for the save.

After winning the ball, Fernandez found Salvio in the area who got past a defender and then skied his shot in another bad miss. After a free kick, there was a chance for Tigres, but Jose Angulo couldn’t reach the ball. Sebastian Cordova got off a right-footed shot that would be easily saved by Gonzalez. A cross into the area then reached Huerta, who looked to have been tripped by Aquino and a PK was given. Dinenno would step up to take the PK and with it gave Pumas the 2-0 lead. A cross into the area could have reached Quiñones, but Gonzalez did a good job of getting to it and forcing the Tigres attacker to foul him. Fulgencio fired a shot that forced Gonzalez to make a save, but the ball was won by Tigres, who crossed it into the area where Ozziel Herrera got a wide open header that went past Gonzalez to give Tigres their first of the night, placing the score at 2-1.

At home, Pumas bounced back from a bad performance on Tuesday against FC Juárez to give the current Liga MX champions, Tigres, their first loss in a week where every Liga MX team that was undefeated lost their match. Pumas must improve as they were once again the better side, but their scoring didn’t match the number of chances they had. The fact that their two goals came off a goalkeeper mistake and a PK means the team isn’t finishing in open play, especially Eduardo Salvio who had a number of misses just like in their last home match against Toluca. Still, Pumas got a win against a good team, but will need to improve as they travel to Torreón where Santos just gave leaders Chivas their first loss of the season. Before the Pumas match, Santos will travel to Monterrey on Wednesday and face this Tigres side that should look much better, yet will still be hampered by a number of injuries.