Pumas, Pachuca Are in the Final... Barely

Dario Verón scored in the 89th minute to secure Pumas' spot in the Final

After the results of the first legs of the Mexican Primera’s semifinal round, the second legs were to be nothing more than a formality. 90 minutes of kickball that was to do nothing but prolong the inevitable final between Pumas and Pachuca. Puebla and Indios didn’t seem to get the memo. Both teams launched spirited comebacks but ultimately fell short in their quest to reach the finals. So it’s UNAM vs. Pachuca in the final. They have never met in a final, and both will be playing for their 6th title. And both are lucky to be here.

Pumas took a 2-1 lead home to the second leg of the semis. In the Liguilla, the higher seed wins the breaker in every round but the final, so Puebla was obligated to win by 2 goals to advance. Pumas could have made it 3 in the first few minutes, but Dante Lopez missed wide on a 1 on 1 with the Puebla keeper. After 30 minutes, Puebla had the 2 goal lead they needed to put them through to the finals. Paraguayan defender, Dario Verón put end to the Camotero’s dream with a very late second half header. Pumas lost the game 2-1, but made the final thanks to the tie-breaker.

Pachuca had a comfortable 2-0 lead as their second leg got going at the Huracán in Pachuca. An early Pachuca goal meant that Indios would need 4 goals to advance to the final.

Indios got their first: well, at least they made the scoreline. Great season, hopefully you can stay in the first division you plucky little guys.

Then the second: Hey, now. It’s nice of you to make the series respectable. Again, we hope to see you in the first division for a long time.

The third goal came with 10 minutes to go: Holy Crap! Pachuca has to be thanking god for that higher-seed tie breaker. These Indios are dominating.

In the 88th minute, an errant rebound from a corner landed at Indios defender Javier Malagueño’s feet. He had plenty of time to control, measure, and shoot.

Just wide.

A few minutes later, Pachuca put the game out of reach with Blas Perez’s stoppage time strike.

Despite their long odds, both Puebla and Indios displayed traits that are seldom seen in Mexican futbol: patience, resilience, and ching*** of heart. For every team that played the way these guys did this weekend, I can show you 5 more that don’t bother showing up (Cruz Azul a few weeks ago in the CCC) or would rather play who can get the red card fastest. It was a defeat more noble than most victories. Thank you both for giving us some extremely entertaining futbol.