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PUMAS Blog: Game 13: Puebla 0 - 0 Pumas

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Game 13: Puebla 0 - 0 Pumas

Video here.

In an insipid and at times dull game, Pumas and Puebla shared an uninspiring 0-0 draw in the Estadio Cuauthémoc on Sunday. Neither side created much threat, and although Pumas were yet again the better team they now have garnered only 2 points out of the last 5 games and have slipped further behind the leaders. Puebla meanwhile will have been happy to keep accumulating points in their battle against relegation.

The only slight surprise in the Pumas line-up was Carlos Humberto González starting ahead of Palacios. Palencia also kept his place ahead of the off-colour Cacho. Pumas old-boy Césareo Victorino started for Puebla.

It is rare to find a game in which chances and drama are so hard to find, but both Pumas and Puebla came out in orderly and rather negative fashion and there really was nothing of note to report during almost the entire first half. The nearest Puebla got to scoring was a through ball which Horacio Peralta couldn't latch on to and Bernal picked the ball off easily. Perlalta then followed through and Bernal fell to the floor spilling the ball. A free kick was awarded but nevertheless it is disconcerting to see Bernal drop the ball every time he is slightly nudged, it may cost a goal at some point.

Alex Diego and Israel Castro gave a good account of themselves in the middle as Pumas dominated possession, but Toledo and Morales had little luck down the flanks, with Morales in particular too often cutting back inside rather than getting in a dangerous cross. Verón and González looked Pumas's best option for a goal from set pieces, as López was muted and Palencia came very deep.

The second half continued as the first with no real opportunities to score for either side, until the 70th minute, when a Pumas breakaway nearly led to the opener. Morales bursting through the middle found himself in a two on one and fed Toledo just inside the area. Faced with only the goalkeeper to beat, the Pumas number 26 hurried his shot and put an excellent chance wide.

Given the stalemate, it was surprising that both managers seemed reluctant to make changes, and it wasn't until ten minutes to go that Palencia made way for Cacho and Íñiguez replaced Toledo on the right. Tuca's changes seemed to have more effect, although a little bit of extra space gave Victorino time for a long range effort which Bernal had to push away.

During the final five minutes Pumas had more chances to take the three points. Íñiguez had time to make an impact and he teed up Cacho for an easy header, after getting nicely to the by-line and pulling back for the diminuitive Mexican. The man with the Tintin quiff then proceeded to head hilariously wide when unmarked with the goal beckoning. Then Íñiguez got through once more after good work from Morales, but López missed his kick completely and Cacho fluffed the rebound.

In the meantime Cacho had almost made up for his bad miss by taking a cross down on his chest and then lobbing only inches over the bar with Oscar Dautt beaten. But it looked like nothing was going to prevent a goalless finish, and this leaves Pumas some work to do in their final five games to make sure of a play-off place.


Pumas: yellow: Velarde, Diego
Puebla: yellow: Peralta, Victorino

Player Ratings
Bernal 5 - nearly cost a goal in the first half with his drop, but made a decent save in the second
Juárez 5 - too anonymous going forward as had little to so at the back
González 6 - is playing well at the moment
Verón 6 - looked calm and played the ball out nicely
Velarde 6 - reasonably positive and had everything covered in defence
Castro 5 - comfortable but not sufficient drive
Diego 6 - covered a lot of ground, now needs to work more on creating opportunities
Morales 6 - coming inside too much but still lively
Toledo 4 - not his day and missed a very good chance
Palencia 5 - worked hard but as usual never looked like scoring
López 5 - his worst game for a while - often had to go wide because Morales was in the middle
Íñiguez 6 - injected some life into an insipid attack
Cacho 5 - got into decent positions but a dreadfully bad header to miss a good chance

Tuca 4 - he has to take the rap for a poor performance. Being better than a bad team is no consolation, and did little to change things until too late.

Elsewhere in Mexico
Thankfully there was more excitement elsewhere, especially in the Estadio 3 de Marzo, as Tecos trounced leaders San Luis 5-2. A brace from Victor Piríz for San Luis could not prevent Tecos consolidating first place in the so-called "Group of Death" (Group 2). Morelia boosted their chances in the same group by beating Cruz Azul in Mexico City 2-0, with goals from Romero and Droguett. América played out a dull 0-0 in Ciudad Juárez against Indios, while Necaxa's grim run continues as they lost 1-0 at home to Atlas.

Atlante went down 1-0 at Chivas with a toothless attack lacking Pereyra and Maldonado, Sergio Santana scoring for the home team. Meanwhile 20 year-old Francisco Acuña made a name for himself as he scored and made a telling all-round contribution as Tigres convincingly beat Monterrey 4-1. Héctor Mancilla grabbed two for Toluca as they saw off Pachuca 3-0 in the Bombonera, while a Christián Benítez goal was the difference in Torreón as Santos edged past Jaguares 1-0.

Atlante and Santos top Group One, Tecos and Morelia Group Two (although this group is tight) and San Luis and Tigres Group Three. For many teams there is still all to play for in the last four games (or in some cases five) as there are ten play-off places, six direct and four into "repesca".

Javier Cortés and Eduardo Herrera got the goals as Pumas Morelos defeated Jaguares Tapachula and move to second place in Group 3 of Primera A.

Next Up
Pumas travel to Dynamo Houston on Wednesday in the CONCACAF Champions League. Cruz Azul receive D.C. Untited, and Atlante travel to Trinidad to play Joe Public. Santos play Tauro FC in Torreón. Chivas face River Plate in Buenos Aires in the quarter final of the Copa Sudamericana.


At 03:30, Anonymous heney said...

This is great! Would be wonderful to see. what do you say?


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