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PUMAS Blog: Game 10: Atlante 2 - 0 Pumas

Monday, September 29, 2008

Game 10: Atlante 2 - 0 Pumas

Video here.

In a quality game of football on a damp night in Cancún Atlante moved up to second place in the general table after edging past Pumas, who have not defeated Atlante since 2004. The Atlante goals were both the result of Pumas errors, and the university side also finished the game with ten men.

Pumas started with the same side that lost to San Luis last week, but with the suspended Verón replaced by Carlos Humberto González, and Jehu Chiapas promoted ahead of Alex Diego. Íñiguez was on the bench, with Toledo continuing on the right flank. Atlante had their main playmakers available and their chief threats came from Christian "El Hobbit" Bermúdez, Gabriel "El Místico" Pereyra and Venezuelan Giancarlo Maldonado. Pumas old boy Gerardo Espinoza was also in the line-up.

The game started at the right rhythm for Pumas as they began strongly, dominating possession and moving the ball around fluently. Morales was looking lively on the left and Chiapas supported well from midfield. Meanwhile Cacho and particularly Dante López were moving around nicely and creating space. Early on Chiapas sent in a cross from the right which found López open but the ball was just taken off his head by Cacho as they failed to communicate. Then Chiapas found Toledo who brought the ball down and fired across Vilar but against the inside of the upright.

As time wore on Pumas continued to dominate but could not create too many more chances as the Atlante defense settled. And it was completely against the run of play that Atlante took the lead. From a free kick at least 30 yards out Maldonado drilled the ball low at the three-man wall. The ball flicked from López's boot with a slight deflection sending it past a sluggish Bernal. There is a case for saying that there should not have been a wall at all from that distance, and it did not help Bernal, but then he was the one who took responsibility for organising it.

The goal kick-started the "potros" effort and Pumas were thrown more onto the back foot. The game slowed down and it suited Pereyra who was able to control things more, managing to slot one pass through to Maldonado who put it wide after Bernal narrowed the angle.

Despite the scoreline Pumas had been the better team in the first half, but Ferretti clearly thought a change was needed, and he replaced Toledo with Íñiguez and Cacho with Palencia for the second half. Atlante came out unchanged, and proceeded to push forward with more urgency. Pumas moved the ball around nicely but Atlante seemed to have that extra penetration. A Maldonado free kick caught Pereyra on the shoulder and it clipped the outside of the post, and Venegas came close with a header.

The game was effectively decided in the 67th minute with the sending-off of Marco Antonio "Pikolín" Palacios. The Pumas number 3 came in to tackle Ovalle on the right-hand touchline. Ovalle pushed the ball on but it was intercepted by Palacios at full stretch, and then the Atlante left-back fell over Pikolín's outstretched leg. Strictly interpreting the laws it should have been an Atlante throw-in, but you can imagine a referee giving a free kick. But to the surprise of almost everyone in the stadium, Fabián Delgado, who was in a poor position to see, gave Palacios a direct red. It was a strange move, as he had had a great game up till then, and only a shaky five minutes after the incident. Perhaps he was influenced by the roar from the crowd, but I am mystified at referees making decisions on incidents they don't see.

Velarde moved into centre-back and Chiapas to left-back, and with Martin Bravo now on for Morales (incidentally upsetting Íñiguez's rhythm by shifting him to the left) Pumas carried on probing for the equaliser. But the balance of the team was not there and the "Potros" were able to counter-attack with much more threat, and in the last fifteen minutes they created a few opportunities. Maldonado hit the outside of the post with a shot from outside the area and Pereyra lobbed over with just Bernal to beat, while Rey volleyed one-on-one straight into the goalkeeper's arms.

Nevertheless with five minutes left, Atlante's victory was safe as Rey capitalised on a misunderstanding between Velarde and Bernal. As Rey came through Velarde got ahead of him and was easily shepherding the ball into the oncoming Bernal's hands, but at the last minute he gently touched it past him, and Luis Gabriel "El Canguro" (the Kangaroo - watch his goal celebration) Rey took advantage to roll the ball into the empty net.

Despite losing their last two, Pumas remain top of a tight Group 2, while Atlante stretch their advantage at the top of Group 1.

Goals
Giancarlo Maldonado (24 minutes) 1-0
Luis Gabriel Rey (85) 2-0

Cards
Pumas: yellow: Chiapas, red: Palacios
Atlante: none

Player Ratings
Bernal 5 - not a great game, possibly at fault for both goals
Velarde 6 - played pretty well, a pity about the error for the second goal
Palacios 7 - a rock in the defense and should not have been sent off
González 5 - Pereyra, Bermúdez and Maldonado often found it easy to play in the ball behind him: Verón was missed
Juárez 6 - a sound if unspectacular game
Chiapas 7 - neat and tidy, composed and put in some good crosses
Morales 6 - started brightly but faded
Toledo 6 - looked lively, but Ovalle slowly got the measure of him and by the end of the first half he was lying too deep
Castro 6 - early on he was in command, but did not impose himself enough on the attack
Cacho 5 - disappointing again. There were moments where he seemed to have half an understanding with López but...
López 7 - lots of movement and work-rate, but too often was working with his back to goal
Íñiguez 5 - didn't take people on and barely produced a cross. Hardly helped that he was switched wings after ten minutes
Bravo 5 - there were touches of what might be, but against good opposition it is not enough
Palencia 6 - did what he always does, works hard but never looks like scoring

Tuca 6 - should have persisted with the first half line-up for longer, although he probably made the right changes.

Elsewhere in Mexico
Youngster Arnhold Rivas, recently and rather controversially called up to the national squad, grabbed two for Tecos as they beat Jaguares 3-1 in Chiapas. Puebla held on for a 1-1 draw in San Luis after a nice effort by Horacio Peralta had put them ahead. Rodolfo Salinas equalised for the "Gladiadores". Pachuca gained a 2-1 home victory against Monterrey thanks to a Bruno Marioni penalty, while Tigres dominated against Indios but lost 1-0 after missing a penalty and having Blas Pérez sent off for a gesture aimed at the linesman.

In the "clásico tapatío" (Guadalajara derby) Chivas sneaked past rivals Atlas 1-0 with a goal from Xavier Baéz. Héctor Mancilla continued his good goalscoring form with one of the goals in Toluca's 2-1 defeat of champions Santos, and Andrés "El Condor" Mendoza hit a brace as Morelia beat Necaxa 3-1. Salvador Cabañas scored his fifth goal in five games, as he hit two to help América to a 2-0 win against Cruz Azul in the "clásico capitalino".

San Luis top the general table, from Atlante, while Pumas drop back to third. These three sides top their respective groups.

Pumas Morelos claimed a 3-1 win at Tiburones Rojos de Coatzacoalcos, with goals from Luis Rosas (2) and Orlando Pineda. In the second division Pumas Naucalpan drew 1-1 with Inter Playa, but won the bonus point 5-3 on penalties.

Next Up
Pumas host Houston Dynamo in CU on Tuesday night in the CONCACAF Champions League. Other games include Cruz Azul's visit to DC United on Wednesday, and Atlante enertaining Joe Public on Thursday.

In the Copa Sudamericana Chivas travel to Atlético Paranaense on Tuesday after their 2-2 draw in Guadalajara, while on Wednesday San Luis defend their 2-1 scoreline in Argentina against Argentinos Juniors.

2 Comments:

At 00:48, Anonymous gabe said...

I just want to say this blog is awesome. if i didnt catch the game i feel like i know what happens play by play through this. and even if i saw it i like to read another opinion. Sometimes its all i have since they dont televize the games on pure antenna sumetimes. We need Leandro!!!

 
At 19:24, Blogger John Kelly said...

Thank you Gabe, glad it is of use.

If you disagree with anything or would like to share your views then please post...

Meanwhile I agree that Leandro is sorely missed, but it has been a good opportunity for Alex Diego, and especially Jehu Chiapas who I rate highly. He has excellent technique he just needs a bit more agression in game situations.

I think Leandro could be back in a couple of weeks, and I hope for his sake that Sven hasn't forgotten about him for the national side.

 

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