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Pumas defeat Pachuca in exciting match

UNAM got a 3-1 victory at home over a solid Tuzos side.

Pumas UNAM v Pachuca - Torneo Clausura 2024 Liga MX Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

Behind a wonder goal and a lively performance, Pumas defeated Pachuca to get a 3-1 win and secure their second victory of the Clausura 2024. It was a very even match throughout and Pachuca might have deserved better as they pressured the home side for all 90 minutes, but Pumas continued their offensive spark under new manager Gustavo Lema.

The match featured the first start of Peruvian international Piero Quispe with Pumas. After a run, César Huerta got a cross into the area that defender Sergio Barreta almost cleared into an own goal. Pachuca had a great chance when Alan Batista got off right-footed shot that Pumas’ goalkeeper Julio González blocked, but almost sent into his own net after the ball bounced off him, but went wide.

After Pachuca lost the ball, Ulises Rivas would take the ball almost from the halfway line and get off an incredible lobbed shot over Moreno and into the net to score a GOLAZO for the 1-0 lead. It was a masterful decision and a great goal. Pachuca would immediately bounce back and less that a minute later, Alonso Aceves got past Pumas’ defense and fired off a left-footed missile past González to score and tie the match at 1-1.

A minute after that, Huerta made a good play in the area by getting past his defender and got a cross right to Eduardo Salvio, who fired from close range past Moreno to score and give Pumas the 2-1 lead. In a matter of minutes, three goals were scored between both sides. Salvio later lobbed a shot from outside the area that hit the post, in what would have been another marvelous goal. The halftime whistle blew and Pumas took the lead after a very exciting half.

The second half started with same 11 from each side. Oussama Idrissi got off a right-footed shot that forced a good save from González. Idrissi then fired another shot that went just wide. Pachuca started to gain on a Pumas side that weren’t as lively as they had been in the first half. Off a corner kick, Barreto rose to get a header that forced González to make a great save again. However, off a free kick, Eduardo Salvio’s shot was totally mishandled by keeper Moreno and the ball went through his arms and into the net to score and give Pumas the 3-1 lead. It was a surprising shot, but still a bad mistake from the keeper to give Pumas a goal against the run of play.

Pumas then had a counter attack that was ended when Huerta was fouled by Érick Sánchez. Sánchez had gotten a yellow just minutes before for an almost copycat play. It was a bad mistake from the referee, who should have shown Sánchez his second yellow. Minutes later, Barreto threw an elbow and was shown another yellow card as the ref was losing control of the match.

After getting the ball in the area, Nathan got off a right-footed shot that went inches wide. Sánchez got the ball almost from outside the area and sent a lobbed ball that also went just inches wide. In a crazy play, a cross found Salomon Rondón, whose header was cleared off the line by Nathan. The rebound hit off the post and Pumas’ defense incredibly were able to clear the ball before any other attacker could get off a close range shot. Pachuca were heavily pressuring Pumas in the final minutes. Off a free kick, Rondón’s attempt was deflected by González off the post. Pumas held on to grab their second victory of the season.

Pumas continued to show their great level of play fans were used to with ex-manager Antonio Mohammed, as former assistant and current manager Lema has proven this. Although they had a tough time for large stretches of play against a Pachuca side that was always intense, they did enough to get the victory and held the lead for the majority of the match, which meant that while Pachuca might have “outplayed” them as manager Guillermo Almada claimed in his press conference, Pachuca were always trailing and needed to go out and attack.

Pumas will need to work on their conditioning to maintain their level of play through 90 minutes. They’ll have a surprisingly tough matchup as they face Necaxa at home on Wednesday. Necaxa were expected to be one of the weaker sides in Liga MX, but have been the surprise team so far as they opened up with two victories (Atlas, Puebla) and then stopped Club América’s winning streak with a 0-0 tie at home against the current champions. Pumas should still be the favorite, but will need to step up. Pachuca will go home for their first match there of the season as they face Atlas in a match they should be favored.