Clausura 2017

Jesus Gallardo’s stoppage time goal gives Pumas win over Leon

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In a nail biting game that saw both teams with clear chances to win it, Pumas pulled out a last second winner against Leon on Saturday night in front of a packed house in Guanajuato.

Pumas homegrown player Jesus Gallardo played the hero and scored the game winner in the 93′ minute, surely the last play of the match.

Pumas were the aggressor most of the night, out shooting Leon 18-10,  including 10-2 with shots on target. Up until the final moment, Leon goalkeeper William Yarbrough was certainly the man of the match, racking up a stunning nine saves.

For Pumas, it was a odd game to put forth such an offensive performance, considering they were missing Nicolas Castillo and Matias Britos started on the bench as they try and integrate him as he returns from injury. Considering their poor road play over the last several months, it was surprising to see such a conservative lineup to open the match. Fortunately, conservative was not how the starting XI played.

Bryan Rabello started as the lone forward, a position that is not natural for the winger or central midfielder. Rabello had a stellar night, even providing the pass to Gallardo leading to the goal. Juan Francisco Palencia also decided to start Kevin Escamilla in the midfield instead of forward Santiago Palacios. The move pushed Javier Cortes further up in the attack, a move that worked very well. Even defender Alan Mendoza contributed to the attack, as he continues to be one of the standouts of 2017.

Britos entered in the second half, coming on for Escamilla in the 61′ minute. Oddly enough, after the change Leon seemed to gain control of the match and looked like the stronger team.

Luckily for Pumas, they were able to avoid giving up a goal (barely), and Gallardo was able to bury this…

With the win, Pumas jumped to fourth in the Liga MX standings, with six points after three weeks. Next up are two home games, first Necaxa and then Pachuca. If the club can take advantage of the home support, the entire league could be talking about their Clausura start soon.