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PUMAS Blog: Game 14: Pumas 1 - 1 Indios

Monday, October 27, 2008

Game 14: Pumas 1 - 1 Indios

Video highlights here.

Pumas's winless run continues, as they were held to a draw at home by strugglers Indios de Ciudad Juárez. As in the previous games, the UNAM team controlled the majority of possession, and looked untroubled at the back, but were unable to create any threat going forwards. Opposing teams now know quite clearly how to frustrate Pumas's toothless attack and despite many limitations Indios had little difficulty keeping the home team at bay.

After the midweek heroics of the "second" team, Ferretti reverted to the same starting team that gained a point in Puebla, Diego and Castro in the middle and Palencia and Dante López up front. Íñiguez, Espinoza, Palencia and Cacho who performed well against Houston were on the bench.

It was a beautiful sunny day at the Estadio Olímpico, and the crowd were in anticipatory mood. But the game began at the same tedious rhythm that had prevailed against Puebla, with Indios content to allow Pumas to play in front of them and look to break, while Pumas themselves held the ball without really knowing what to do with it. Castro seemed to be looking sideways most of the time, Diego's first touch cut down his space, and González and Velarde in particular seemed rushed moving the ball upfield.

It looked unlikely either team would score. Star man Andrés Chitiva on the left for Indios looked a shadow of the title winner with Pachuca (although he admittedly had been ill this week and may have been feeling the effects), and Tomás Campos found it hard to hold on to the ball. Diego and Castro won the ball determinedly and then often pumped aimless balls forward, or passed back to the defence who did the same.

It was Indios who had the first real chance in the 13th minute when Curbelo got away down the right, but instead of shooting he tried to find Santibáñez and Verón got back to intercept. Pumas replied with a nice cross from Morales which was met on the volley at the near post by Palencia, but he stabbed the ball just wide.

There was very little more in the way of action until Pumas spurned the chance of the first half. After a Verón free kick hit the wall Velarde crossed long, and González headed across goal to Palencia. He was unfortunate to see his shot skim off Malagueño and strike the post with Saucedo beaten, and the same defender blocked a fairly poor rebound attempt.

Tuca clearly recognised the lack of attacking threat, particularly due to the lack of urgency moving the ball forward from midfield, and so brought Toledo into the middle and brought on Íñiguez for Alex Diego. He also brought on Cacho for Palencia who had done a lot of running during the first half. Nevertheless the same style of football continued and referee Gabriel Gómez did little to help by forgetting about the existence of the advantage rule. Íñiguez did look a little more threatening down the right and Toledo more dynamic in the middle, but there were still no chances.

In the end it was Indios who broke the deadlock after some poor defending from Carlos Humberto González and Efraín Juárez. A long clearance by goalkeeper Saucedo fell just outside the Pumas box and González completely mistimed his jump allowing the ball to bounce into the area. Nevertheless the danger should have been cleared by Juárez, with Maggiolo the only Indios forward around, but the Pumas right-back got himself into a poor position and the ball bounced past him to give Maggiolo an opportunity. It all fell nicely for the Argentinian and he finished comprehensively past a helpless Bernal.

Indios nearly had a second when Campos spotted Bernal off his line and tried a shot from midfield, but the effort just cleared the bar, and the veteran goalkeeper may well have had it covered in any case. Apart from this Indios were now happy to sit back and wait to see if Pumas would do something. They arranged their two lines of four nicely and Pumas repeatedly had to return the ball to the defence and start again without achieving much. Both Cacho and López forced saves from Saucedo with long-range efforts, but apart from occasional bursts forward from Morales and Íñiguez there was little to shout about.

Nonetheless Pumas could have had a penalty when Íñiguez was sent tumbling in the area as Hernández fell awkwardly, but the referee was not well enough placed to award a spot kick. With quarter of an hour left Pumas were given a new lease of life, however, when Tomás Campos was sent off for Indios. Dante López bumped into him with his chest with the ball dead and the Indios midfielder threw himself to the ground in an exaggerated fashion which displeased the referee. He duly booked both players, apparently not realising that Campos already had a yellow for a shirt-pulling on Morales. He then had no option but to ask the player to leave the field.

In the remaining minutes Pumas pushed forward, and finally got the equaliser from a corner kick. David Toledo hit a nice cross in, Cacho headed on and the defender on the line played Morales onside who headed in from a couple of yards out. 1-1 was little more than the University team deserved for their possession, but they made hard work of breaking down a solid defensive unit, and despite ample ball and the extra man were not able to find a winner in the last ten minutes. Martín Bravo caused a few problems when he came on and put a shot narrowly over, and right at the end Toledo was cautioned for a dive in the area when he was touched by an Indios defender and had an outside shout for a penalty.

After the game Tuca admitted that the attacking strategy from the UNAM was not working, and suggested there might be some changes before Pumas's visit to Guadalajara to face Chivas next weekend. Pumas now fall to 5th in Group 2, while Indios gained a valuable point in their relegation struggle against Puebla and Necaxa.

Ezequiel Maggiolo (51 minutes) 0-1
Fernando Morales (79) 1-1

Pumas: yellow: Morales (late tackle), López (a bump with his chest), Juárez (poor tackle), Toledo (dive)
Indios: yellow: Curbelo, Maggiolo; red: Campos

Player Ratings
Bernal 5 - some aimless punting forward but generally sound
Velarde 5 - lost concentration on a few occasions
Verón 7 - had an excellent game and was justifiably irked by his fellow defenders conceding the goal
González 6 - looked good when he went forward and ok at the back except for the bad mistake for the goal
Juárez 6 - got forward nicely but still managed to pick up his 4th yellow card of the season
Castro 5 - needs to take more attacking responsibility
Diego 5 - poor first touch put him under pressure, wins a lot of ball and often loses or wastes it
Morales 6 - did a lot of work inside, but was double-marked much of the time
Toledo 6 - looks ok down the right, but Íñiguez offers more
Palencia 5 - worked hard but needs to score
López 5 - same comment as for Palencia
Cacho 6 - looked lively in the second half
Íñiguez 7 - the only really convincing attacker on the team
Bravo 6 - his best Pumas performance, looks fitter and his movement around the area gave the team more options, but he does need to look up more. He may have a point that he could do with playing in his preferred postition of centre forward.

Tuca 5 - it has taken him a while to realise that the strategy that works with Leandro in the team, does not work without him. He may learn from the lessons of the midweek team who attacked with more speed and purpose.

Elsewhere in Mexico
San Luis virtually assured their play-off spot with a 2-0 win over Monterrey who have not won in 7 games. Braulio Luna and Víctor Piríz got the goals. In a game of few chances which Jaguares finished with ten men, Toluca and the team from Tuxtla drew 0-0. Pachuca, playing in the Estadio Azul in Mexico City, drew 1-1 with Morelia with the equaliser an own goal from Marvin Cabrera to favour his former team.

Tigres and Necaxa also played out a 1-1 draw in Monterrey. Lucas Lobos grabbed an early lead for the home team, but ex-Tigre Walter Gaitán got a second-half equaliser. A good defensive performance saw Atlas overcome champions Santos 2-1 with goals from Botinelli and Pacheco. Cruz Azul fought back from the early sending-off of César Villaluz and two goals from "cametero" (sweet potato boy) Horacio Peralta to earn a 2-2 draw in Puebla. Vela and Domínguez scored for the visitors.

In an exciting cláscio in Mexico City, Chivas defeated big rivals América 2-1 to put in serious jeopardy the latter's qualification for the play-offs. As there is no "repechaje" this year (I am constantly surprised by the different changes in rules every season) only the two best third-placed teams will go through and América are a clear last in Group 2. Omar "Pinita" Arellano was the two-goal hero for Chivas with Domínguez getting the América strike. Atlante and Tecos will play on 9th November after their match was postponed due to a water-logged pitch.

Pumas Morelos claimed an excellent 2-1 away win against Potros Chetumal, with goals from Pablo Bonells and Javier Cortés. They now top Group 3 on goal difference and are second overall on 29 points behind Correcaminos (30).

Next Up
Pumas play their last qualifying game in the CONCACAF Champions league at home to San Francisco on Wednesday night. Atlante host Motreal Impact on Tuesday, Cruz Azul travel to Saprissa on Wednesday and Santos face Municipal on Thursday.


At 09:36, Anonymous Oliver said...

Do not miss these upcoming matches on telemundo

Saturday, November 1st
Monterrey vs. Atlante (6:55pm/3:55pac)
Guadalajara vs. Pumas (9pm/6pac)

Sunday, November 2nd
Toluca vs. Atlas (12:55pm/9:55am pac)

At 15:52, Blogger Richard said...

Chivas Pumas is going to be a cracker - I have a feeling. Both teams are going to attack I think.

At 03:29, Anonymous heney said...

He then had no option but to ask the player to leave the field.


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