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PUMAS Blog: CONCACAF CL Game 2: Pumas 3 - 0 LA Firpo

Saturday, September 27, 2008

CONCACAF CL Game 2: Pumas 3 - 0 LA Firpo

Video here.

Pumas got their selection right this time and easily overcame a disappointing Luis Ángel Firpo side who were unable to hold on to possession long enough to create a real threat. The hero was youngster David Cabrera (picture) who scored two of the three goals. The damage was done in the first half, and Pumas possibly should have had more missing a hatful of second-half opportunities.

Tuca's selection for the game was made easier by the suspension of Darío Verón from the coming game against Atlante and the return from injury of Ismael Íñiguez. Cacho, who has been out of sorts, partnered Palencia up front, while Bernal added his experience in goal.

Ironically, as it turned out, Firpo started the brighter, and had their only chance of the night in the 3rd minute, Patricio Gómez forcing Bernal into little more than a regulation save. But from then on it was one way traffic as the home side took the lead after ten minutes. Jehu Chiapas put in a dangerous cross from the right, and Cabrera met it beautifully about eight yards out to head past Juan José Gomez.

The game was not pretty, but Verón and González had little difficulty containing the central americans, while Íñiguez always looked threatening down the right. Although not at their best, Palencia and Cacho got into some nice positions, and the latter had two shots saved, while "Paco" pulled a couple of chances wide.

Then with two quick strikes the game was all but over. On 35 minutes a Palencia cross found its way through to Orlando Pineda at the back post and he finished clinically into the bottom corner. And two minutes later "el Cachas" Íñiguez raced down the right to the by-line and fired in a cross which bounced nicely for Cabrera to volley his second.

The Salvadoreans now lost any rhythm they had and Pumas were able to move the ball about at will and create any number of chances. But they had little luck in finishing and also missed some excellent opportunities to increase the score. Cacho hiit the post when it was easier to score, Pineda miss hit going for his second, and Palencia shot straight at the keeper.

The second half continued the same pattern as Tuca made no changes. Chiapas fired over on the hour while Palencia and Cacho also had chances which were pushed away by Gomez in the Firpo goal. There was a lack of urgency from both sides at this point, from Firpo who evidently realised the game was gone, and from Pumas who clearly thought the job was done. There was time, however, for three young "canteranos" (players who have come through the youth set-up) to have a run out, as Luis Rosas, Luis Fuentes and Javier Cortés all saw some action near the end.

The victory puts Pumas top of their qualifying group after Dynamo Houston's draw in Panama against San Francisco. This was Firpo's first match of the group stages.

David Cabrera (11 minutes) 1-0
Orlando Pineda (35) 2-0
David Cabrera (37) 3-0

Pumas: yellow: Verón
Firpo: yellow: Alas, Patricio Gómez

Player ratings
Bernal 6 - largely untroubled and added calm to the defence
Verón 6 - not at his best, but never needed to be
González 6 - seems happier when partnered by Verón
Pineda 6 - a decent effort. Got a goal and came forward with purpose
Espinoza 6 - always shows determination and little troubled in defence
Diego 6 - a solid effort
Chiapas 7 - lots of effort and movement
Cabrera 7 - two goals and an enthusiastic display
Íniguez 7 - caused trouble every time he had the ball
Cacho 6 - played ok but not his night
Palencia 6 - works hard, but his shooting is suspect. Where does he get the "gatillero" nickname?
Rosas, Fuentes, Cortés - only on for a little while

Tuca 7 - the selection was right this time and it is hardly his fault that so many chances were missed.

Elsewhere in Mexico
Santos lost 3-1 in a rain storm in Puerto Rico against the Islanders, and Oribe Peralta and coach Daniel Guzman were sent off. Cruz Azul easily saw off the "Monstruo morado" (purple monster) of Deportivo Saprissa 4-0, including a fabulous Torrado goal. Atlante played out a dull 0-0 in Montreal against Impact.

In the Copa Sudamericana San Luis beat Argentinos Juniors 2-1 with goals from Braulio Luna and Tressor Moreno. Chivas played disappointingly in their home leg, managing only a 2-2 draw against an Atlético Paranaense reserve team.

The Mexican national team, with a distinctly strange look without the services of many of their first-choice players, played out a miserable 1-0 defeat to Chile with the goal coming from a Valenzuela own goal. I am amazed that with so many players out this fixture was allowed to be an official international, but Eriksson clearly found out that his first-choice team is significantly better.

Next Up
Pumas travel to Cancún to take on Atlante. Other interesting games are Toluca v Santos amd América v Cruz Azul. Pumas Morelos travel to Coatzacoalcos.

CONCACAF Champions League So Far:- (Brought to you by DT, scroll down the posts to see the links to video highlights of all games)
Preliminary Round First Legs
Preliminary Round Second Legs
Group Stage Matchday One
Group Stage Matchday Two


At 23:44, Blogger DT said...

Firpo have been struggling in the league to get going, and Oscar Benitez got the tactics all wrong, far too defensive from the off, may amuse you to see the local paper's ratings:-

Bernal - 6

Veron - 6
González - 5
Pineda - 6
Espinoza - 6

Diego - 6
Chiapas - 6
Cabrera - 7
Íniguez - 6

Cacho - 7
Palencia - 6

Juan Gómez - 6
Maurico Quintanilla - 5
Manuel Salazar - 4
Edwin González - 4
Jorge Sánchez - 3
Christian Sánchez - 3
Dennis Alas - 4
Rubén Quijada - 5
Leonardo Pekarnik - 4
Fernando Leguizamón - 6
Patricio Barroche - 6

There was another chance - a long distance Dennis Alas free kick came very close, clearly surprising Bernal.

Still a nothing showing for El Salvador, a shame.....

At 19:21, Blogger Richard said...

Quite why they saw Cacho as a 7 defeats me...

Pity about Firpo but frankly they looked poor


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