Pumas, after nearly four years, stepped again in the state of Sinaloa. This time to face Mazatlan for the first time in their history, making them their 51st rival in Mexico’s top-flight.
Mazatlan came from a 1-0 loss on the road against Necaxa while Pumas went from a 1-1 draw at home against Monterrey. Pumas’ Juan Dinenno was in search of increasing his goal-tally against the newcomers of the league. Venezuelan striker Fernando Ariesteguieta was also in search of being a fundamental piece for the home side.
On Saturday, during the 5th fixture week of the Guard1anes 2020, Pumas visited Mazatlan in search of their second win on the road. Sinaloa’s high temperatures played a significant factor in both teams, who had very few limited chances to open up the scoring.
The first half had a languid tempo as both teams lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. The midfield did feel very crowed on both sides, without clear opportunities to go forward. The first clear chance for a goal came in the 43rd minute from Pumas via Carlos Gonzalez. The Paraguayan took a chance inside the box to score, but the ball was sent to take a corner. Despite giving away the first 45 minutes of the game, they had only 45 minutes to get the job done against the newcomers of the league.
Seconds after the break, Sebastián Saucedo took advantage of a misplaced pass, although his shot went wide from Mazatlan’s goal. Pumas’ second-half performances during the second half were more dynamic as a result creating more chances to score a goal. Given more frequent efforts from the away said, the Auriazulez were unsuccessful in achieving their three-point objective. Pumas came close to opening the deadlock in the dying minutes of the game, but their effort was denied by the home defense.
The match ended in what was set out to be a boring 0-0 to an entertaining 0-0 draw. Pumas will make a trip home to recuperate, work on their mistake, and make a trip to Monterrey as they face-off against Tigres; a team they haven’t beaten away since 2014. Mazatlan will also make a trip away from home as they’ll square-off against Pachuca, a side making their way to the top in the general standings.
Playing the way Pumas did today can mean many things for their upcoming game against Tigres. Lillini has to work hard with his team to get a positive result away. What do you think the outcome of that game will turn out to be?