Pumas added an important three points to their Clausura total on Sunday with a controlling 3-1 win over visiting Necaxa at a packed Estadio Olimpico Universitario. More than 34,000 fans packed the stands for a spectacular second half show that saw Pumas score three ‘golazos’ as they cruised to victory.
After giving up a goal to Necaxa in the first minute of the match, things settled down and Pumas were the dominant side for the majority of the match. After the dust settled, Pumas had 62% of the possession, and outshot los Rayos 22-6.
With a single goal deficit at the halfway point, one has to wonder what Juan Francisco Palencia told his players at the break. Two minutes into the second half, Nicolas Castillo scored to level the match on a fantastic close range tap in from a Jesus Gallardo pass.
In the 68′ minute, Pablo Barrera put Pumas on top with a hard shot to the far post that Necaxa keeper Marcelo Barovero couldn’t reach. Josecarlos Van Rankin, who had a standout performance at right back, set up with play with a quick pass to Barrera who was flying in on goal.
Bryan Rabello finished things of in the 89′ minute of the match, firing a rocket from well outside of the box for the 3-1 lead. Rabello’s effort is a sure goal of the week candidate.
Castillo’s goal was his second of the campaign, while Barrera and Rabello earned their first goal of the Clausura.
Pumas have now won three games in a row, something they haven’t done since the 2015 Apertura. With the result, Pumas moved up near the top spot of the Liga MX table with nine points from four games. Tijuana has the top spot (9 points) due to their better goal differential.
If there were any worrisome moments of the game, it was surely due to a couple injury scares. Alejandro Palacios asked for a sub in the 18′ minute of the match due to what appears to be a calf injury. In the 75′ minute, Barrera exited with a leg injury. The extent of either of the injuries is unknown.
Matias Britos was also scratched from the gameday roster prior to kickoff. After the game, Palencia told the media Britos’ foot was sore during the week and he made the decision to keep him out of action this weekend. Britos missed the start of the Clausura due to a foot injury, and was a second half sub last week against Leon.
Hopefully Palacios and Barrera’s injuries are not serious, and Britos is ready to go next week.
Pumas face a tougher opponent next Sunday when they welcome Pachuca to town. Los Tuzos sit in fourth in the table, just two points back. Luckily, Pumas will once again have the home field advantage as the game is at Estadio Olimpico Universitario.
Goals (courtesy of Pumas MX)