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PUMAS Blog: Game 9: Pumas 0 - 1 San Luis

Monday, September 22, 2008

Game 9: Pumas 0 - 1 San Luis

Video link here.

With a rather limp performance against San Luis in CU, Pumas lost their 100% home record and the leadership of the "Tabla general". There was not much to choose between the teams but the home team lacked cutting edge and San Luis definitely created the better chances.

After the midweek struggle in Panama, Ferretti switched back to the regular line-up with Diego continuing in Leandro's position and Toledo wide right. San Luis started with Tressor Moreno on the bench.

The game began evenly with San Luis containing the wide threat of Morales and Toledo, while Palacios controlled the middle for Pumas, and Castro mopped up in front of him. If the early exchanges were even, San Luis slowly began to build a bit of pressure and Martiínez put in a dangerous cross which was miskicked and then put wide.

After 20 minutes San Luis were ahead. Monjaraz doubled back and put in an angled cross from the right. It was speculative and overhit, but Víctor Piriz backed away from an inattentive Efraín Juárez and headed past Bernal. It was a poor goal to give away - if Juárez had managed just a little more pressure on Piriz he would not have scored. Pumas became nervous and San Luis grew in confidence, despite neither side being able to create significant openings.

There was very little action from either side for the rest of the half as the "Potosinos" played cautiously inviting a Pumas side forward who lacked penetration. In fact a rather distracted Verón nearly let in Martínez during a mix up with Bernal.

"Tuca" needed to make changes, and at half time the ineffectual Diego gave way to Paco Palencia and a change to a 4-3-1-2 formation, with Palencia tucking in behind Cacho and López. Although this meant less of a protective barrier in front of the defence, and one or two shaky moments, it also added to the Pumas attack. First Velarde created a clear chance for Morales who pulled a weak shot straight at the keeper, and then Cacho got through one on one but could not beat veteran goalkeeper Adrián Martínez.

Pumas continued to push forward with more menace, while leaving more space behind, and Bernal did well to push a Coudet header onto the post, after a good cross from Olmedo, and Palacios scrambled the rebound clear. Martín Bravo came on for his league debut in place of Toledo and within ten minutes he had a yellow card to follow his red on Tuesday, needlessly pushing the San Luis goalkeeper. Nevertheless he looked happier and fitter than against San Francisco. In the meantime he missed a fair chance when stumbling before putting his shot wide from the right hand side of the area.

The home team began to run out of steam, and if anything San Luis could have had a second before the end, while both teams had headers go over the bar. Coudet then missed a free header five yards out that would have killed the game. San Luis just about deserved to win, and Pumas need to get back to the more dynamic play they showed against Atlas if they are not to fall away. However they remain top of group 2 and still well placed in the tournament. San Luis meanwhile go back to the top of the general classification.

Víctor Piríz (19 minutes) 0-1

Pumas: yellow: Verón (now suspended for the next game), Diego (for a mindless handball), Bravo, López
San Luis: yellow: Israel Martínez, Adrián Martínez, Salinas

Player Ratings
Bernal 7 - didn't do much wrong and a great save from Coudet
Velarde 7 - looked almost more of a danger down the left than Morales
Verón 5 - well short of his best
Palacios 7 - made up for his more illustrious colleague's poor game
Juárez 5 - still has too many defensive lapses and has cost 40% of Pumas goals this season
Diego 5 - does not do enough as a ball winner
Castro 7 - had to do alot of the work in the middle
Cacho 5 - disappointing after an apparent breakthrough a couple of weeks ago
Morales 6 - tricky but well-marshalled
Chiapas 6 - neat but not particularly penetrating
Toledo 6 - had his moments of menace but not sufficient
López 6 - a sterling effort but did not really get in many goalscoring positions
Palencia 7 - revived the midfield when he came on
Bravo 6 - looks a feisty character but has to learn to control his enthusiasm

Tuca 5 - should have been on the touchline to marshall his troops but after his hissy fit last week was in the stands.

Elsewhere in Mexico
The biggest game of the weekend, Cruz Azul v Santos, turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. Entering the final couple of minutes it was headed for a draw 0-0 when Matías Vuoso looked to have fired his second last-minute winner in a week, after good work from Benítez. But deep into injury time Torrado fired in an equaliser when he was left alone on the edge of the area, and the game finished 1-1.

Morelia grabbed a surprising 4-0 win away at Monterrey with Hugo Droguett the star, scoring two and creating the others. Chivas won controversially at home to Jaguares after a dubious penalty decision based on a supposed push on Arellano. Morales converted the kick for the 1-0 victory.

Atlas came back from 2-1 down in Ciudad Juárez to win 4-2 against Indios, Ariel Bogado scoring two. Toluca were lucky to get away with a 1-1 draw in Aguascalientes after referee José Peñalosa disallowed two perfectly good Necaxa goals in the second half. To make matters worse Fernando López and coach Salvador Reyes were both sent off for their protests.

Puebla and Tigres shared the points in a dull 0-0 in the Estadio Cuauhtémoc. Meanwhile América find themselves at the bottom of group 2 after losing at home 2-1 to Atlante for whom ex-tuzo Luis Gabriel Rey and "El Hobbit" Bermudez got the goals. The match between Tecos and Pachuca was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

Group 1: Atlante (16pts); Santos (13); Monterrey (12); Pachuca (8); Puebla (8); Indios (7)
Group 2: Pumas (
16); Cruz Azul (15); Tecos (12); Morelia (11); Chivas (10); América (9)
Group 3: San Luis (
19); Tigres (14); Atlas (11); Toluca (10); Necaxa (8); Jaguares (8)

Incidentally, the bottom five in the relegation struggle are (from the bottom up) Indios, Puebla, Tecos, Tigres and Necaxa.

The leading goalscorers are Ariel Bogado of Atlas (7), Hugo Rodallega of Necaxa (6) and Héctor Mancilla of Toluca (6).

Next Up
Pumas take on Firpo of El Salvador in CU on Wednesday in game 2 of the CONCACAF Champions Leaue. Cruz Azul host Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica, Atlante travel to Montreal to face Impact and Santos face the Puerto Rico Islanders. In the first leg of the round of sixteen ("octavos de final") of the Copa Sudamericana Chivas host Atlético Paranaense and San Luis are at home to Argentinos Juniors.

Meanwhile Mexico play a friendly against Chile in the US on Wednesday. It is not a FIFA date so no players with European teams or players from any of the above teams are available.


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