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PUMAS Blog: Game 7: Pumas 3 - 0 Atlas

Monday, September 01, 2008

Game 7: Pumas 3 - 0 Atlas

Video here.

Pumas put together their most convincing performance of the season so far in CU on Sunday, and maintained their hundred percent record at home in this tournament, while moving to the top of group 2. Juan Carlos Cacho was the star, his confidence obviously enhanced by last week's goal, and he grabbed his first top-flight hatrick, while Atlas will be thankful that at least their next game is against Puebla.

Pumas welcomed back "Pikolín" Palacios to the centre of defence in place of González, but otherwise were unchanged, while Atlas left out Diego Colotto whose agents are in negotiations with Deportivo La Coruña.

The game started slowly with neither side impressing early on but Pumas started to get some joy down the right hand side and Iñiguez began to look dangerous while Castro and Juárez worked industriously to feed him and Dante López made some interesting runs. Atlas meanwhile showed little attacking intent and were finding possession hard to come by. The first chances then fell to Pumas, Iñiguez pulling wide after good work by López, then Cacho going closer from the edge of the box. On the half hour Dante López fed a good ball through to Iñiguez who lashed the ball past Bava, only to see it rebound off the post, while "el Chispa" Velarde was unable to direct his header on the rebound.

After his excellent work down the right, it was a shame to see Iñiguez forced to leave the field through injury, to be replaced by Luis Rosas who has had some good games for Pumas Morelos recently. Almost immediately Pumas had the lead: Hugo Ayala mistimed his lunge on Darío Verón inside the area and Cacho expertly converted the spot kick to make it 1-0. At this point it was a fair reflection of the play, and Atlas made little headway looking to equalise before half time, and if anything Dante López could have grabbed another but Bava closed the angle nicely.

Coming out in the second half Pumas remained positive, and it was especially encouraging to see Morales take up where Iñiguez had left off, with Cacho and López finally building an understanding. It was no surprise then when Pumas extended their lead, but the manner of it was nevertheless impressive: Morales sent a long ball left towards Cacho, and after watching it bounce drove a right-foot volley towards the far corner of the net which Bava although getting a touch, could only palm into the net.

While Pumas seemed happy with the lead, and Atlas were unable to do much about it, the game looked as though it might stagnate. But with fifteen minutes to go a beautiful move down the left by Dante López created space, and his cross was met by Cacho in front of goal for his hatrick. At 3-0 there was nowhere to go for Atlas as they opened up in vain against a solid Pumas defence, and although a couple of goalward efforts were fielded by Bernal, there were few alarms for the home side. There was even time for Leandro to some off for a precautionary rest as Alex Diego made an appearance towrds the end.

Pumas now have four straight home wins and a good foothold in the tournament. The forward line, which has been stuttering so far, this time looked the part, and the defense reamins solid. Meanwhile Atlas, who started the tournament so promisingly after thrashing Jaguares, now need to rethink their season.

Juan Carlos Cacho (pen) (40 minutes) 1-0
Juan Carlos Cacho (65) 2-0
Juan Carlos Cacho (75) 3-0

Pumas: yellow: Morales
Atlas: yellow: Valdez, Ayala

Player Ratings
Bernal 6 - not much to do but always in the right place when needed
Velarde 6 - really not challenged much, and helped out in attack
Verón 7 - another cool performance
Palacios 6 - adds an extra dimension of pace to the backline and is good in the air
Juárez 6 - a better performance this week under less pressure
Leandro 7- at times looked a class apart, but his inflluence was not really needed against a poor Atlas attack
Castro 7 - instigated a lot down the right side in the first half
Iñiguez 7 - lively first half, pity about the injury
Morales 8 - took over where Iñiguez left off and a constant thorn in the side for Atlas
López 8 - possibly his best game for Pumas - movement and threat, and seems to know where Cacho is now
Cacho 9 - well taken goals and a much improved performance
Rosas 6 - a good performance and deserves to be given more outings
Diego, Cabrera - on for a short time

Tuca 8 - has to take credit for a dynamic Pumas front line and a solid formation. Pumas have had an excellent start at home.

Elsewhere in Mexico
This week there were two games in the league for most clubs. An Edgar Lugo goal was unable to save Cruz Azul from a 2-1 defeat at San Luis in midweek, but despite Rodallega's 6th goal of the tounament they were able to bounce back and beat Necaxa 2-1 with Zeballos and Rivero the scorers. Toluca's poor run continued as they handed a first win to Chivas, 1-0 courtesy of a Dueñas own goal, and they were only able to snatch a 2-2 draw in Guadalajara against 9-man Tecos. Chivas meanwhile managed a disappointing 1-1 home draw against Monarcas, for whom a Romero won-goal had gifted Indios a 1-0 victory in Morelia earlier in the week. Indios continued the good work with a late Malagueño winner in a 2-1 home win aganst Pachuca.

Santos managed a 2-0 win at home to Tecos, thanks to a Benítez brace, but also suffered a 2-0 reverse in Monterrey. This capped a good week for Monterrey after a Suazo goal had given them a 1-0 victory in Aguascalientes against Necaxa. Atlante managed a 1-0 win against San Luis and a 1-0 defeat at Tigres, who also beat América in the Azteca 3-1, with Lucas Lobos grabbing two. After going down 2-0 in Pachuca, Puebla ended up sharing the points with Jaguares 1-1 thanks to a late Eder Pacheco equaliser.

Atlante (12 points) top group 1 from Santos and Monterrey (both 11). Pumas and Cruz Azul (both 13) lead group 2 from Tecos (11), and San Luis are ahead in group 3 (16) from Tigres (13).

Cruz Azul hammered Hanook Verdes of Belize 6-0 in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League qualifier.

Next Up
Pumas play Harbour View on Thursday night in the Concacaf Champions League preliminary raound. Mexico take on Jamaica on Saturday in the World Cup qualifying tournament.


At 12:03, Blogger DT said...

Hey here is another one:- (and I know the answer this time!) When did Atlas last win in CU?

Another great win, what a season!

At 11:11, Blogger DT said...

great stuff, and indeed a fine start for Pumas, surely one of the best ever?

Made hard work of Harbour View, but got there in the end - what do you think of the two US teams getting dumped out, given that MLS fans often declare that it is easily the best league in CONCACAF and they should have teams in the UEFA Champions League! And that the competition has been re-scheduled to aid USA teams, who have a stupid season....

Last time Atlas won in CU - 1994!

At 15:30, Blogger John Kelly said...

Thanks for the Atlas info DT.


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