Pumas and Tigres battled to a scoreless draw in a match in which both teams had opportunities. With two goals being scored but being called back by the exact same reason, it was a controversial match where Pumas played better in the first half while Tigres did so in the second. Pumas suffered from a terrible match from Juan Ignacio Dinenno, who missed a number of opportunities. Tigres will now travel back home to face their biggest match of the season against rivals Monterrey, while Pumas will have a tough trip against an inspired Puebla.
The first half started with Pumas coming out with the same starting lineup, including Sebastian Saucedo starting over Gabriel Torres. Tigres meanwhile had the return from suspension of Carlos Salcedo and Rafael Carioca. There were a few even minutes and then in the first attack of the day, Pumas would score a great goal. Alan Mozo got just outside of the area, got past a defender, and hit an incredible left footed shot that got past Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman. Unfortunately for Pumas, they went to the VAR and replays showed the ball had gone past the line before the pass to Mozo from Carlos Gutierrez and the goal was recalled and a throw in given to Tigres. Tigres had their first chance when a Luis Quiñones cross was lowered into the area by Andre-Pierre Gignac, but Johan Vasquez miraculously was able to head and clear the ball before it reached Carlos Gonzalez. Had it gone through it would have given him a dangerous close range header. Pumas wasted an incredible opportunity when Gutierrez got a great cross right into Juan Ignacio Dinenno, who failed to volley the ball. Minutes later, Dinenno once again got the ball in the area and then lost it after getting past a defender in what would have been a good opportunity. Tigres answered back with a great header by Gonzalez that forced Pumas’ goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera to make a great save. There was controversy when Gutierrez fell in the area after a clash by Carlos Salcedo. Replays showed that Salcedo had connected with an elbow, a play a lot more severe than the one in which Cruz Azul got a last minute penalty that gave them a win over Pumas earlier in the season, yet the referee didn’t call a foul. Tigres came close to scoring when Gignac got a cross almost deflected into the goal, the ball going over Talavera but just falling outside. Pumas missed a great opportunity when Gutierrez got into the area and volleyed a ball that Guzman stopped, but the rebound fell to Gutierrez who crossed the ball to a wide open Dinenno. Dinenno however blew the play with a terrible header. Dinenno was not only wide open, but had a clear goal as Guzman was out of place but he missed the sitter, wasting another clear opportunity. The halftime whistle blew and Pumas would rue missing so many chances and for the game to be scoreless.
The second half started with Tigres scoring by Carlos Gonzalez. Replays showed that the ball had left in an even bigger way that in the Alan Mozo ball by Luis Quiñones. Thankfully the VAR made the right call and called it off in what would have been an historic injustice. Pumas had another chance wasted when a great pass into the area was failed to be controlled by Dinenno. Tigres subbed out Nicolas Lopez for Leonardo Fernandez. Pumas had another chance wasted when Guzman failed to get a ball that got into the area but Dinenno failed to reach the ball too, in what would have allowed him an empty net opportunity. Saucedo made a great cross into the area that Erik Lira rose to head, but it went wide. Tigres then had their best opportunity when Gonzalez got a ball in the area and made a back heel pass to Fernandez in the area, but his shot went wide. Pumas subbed out Sebastian Saucedo and Carlos Gutierrez for Juan Manuel Iturbe and Angel Garcia. Off of a corner kick, Tigres had the best opportunity for their team when Diego Reyes rose to head the ball, but his header hit the post. Pumas had a great shot from Facundo Waller, but Guzman made a great save to stop a sure goal. Pumas subbed out Favio Alvarez (who again played poorly) for Leonel Lopez. Fernandez then made a good play and got off a shot but Talavera was able to easily save it. Tigres then subbed out Luis Quiñones for Filberto Fulgencio. Tigres came close to scoring on a free kick when Andre-Pierre Gignac took a great free kick and the ball just went wide. Pumas then subbed out Juan Pablo Vigon for Amaury Garcia. Tigres had a good final few minutes in which they controlled possession, but Pumas held on well. Tigres had a great opportunity when Gonzalez got into the area, but his shot was saved by Talavera. He then got to the rebound but his header was badly connected by a Tigres player, and Pumas was able to clear the ball. The score remained 0-0 and both teams wasted a great opportunity to get three points.
Pumas played one of their best games of a season where they have been inconsistent. A terrible match for their lone striker Dinenno really hurt them, although it’s a good sign that they have been improving as the season progresses. Tigres are also playing better in an inconsistent season, although they might not have shown much for fans to be confident as they face their big game against Monterrey. Pumas meanwhile will go and face Puebla, one of the hottest teams in Mexico, away in a match that will be really tough before they close out the season against their biggest rival America, in a very tough schedule that might mean that losing two points today might really hurt the team.