MEXICO CITY (AP) – Although he is about to turn a decade without a championship, the Pumas leadership chose not to sign players in the December window. Apparently, it didn’t require them.
With goals from Brazilian forwards Rogerio de Oliveira, Diogo and Higor Meritao, Pumas beat Toluca 5-0 on Monday for its first win in Mexico’s Clausura tournament.
De Oliveira first shook the nets at 31 minutes and then added a goal at 65 to sign a double, while Diogo washed away a blunder he had in the first half with a goal at 61 and Meritao sealed the account at 82.
The debutant Jorge Ruvalcaba scored at 69 by the university students, who were criticized because they only incorporated one player from their branch in the expansion league despite the fact that their last league title was won in the 2011 Clausura.
“I have reinforcements in the house, they brought me for that and I am going to defend them. Criticisms always exist because we are not a team that will pamper us, ”said Argentine coach Andrés Lillini, who was managing in lower categories before assuming command of the first team in July 2020, replacing Spaniard Miguel González ‘Michel’.
“There is a project here, you have to have results and your feet on the ground to grow, but I’m happy with the team I have. I only asked (the leaders) to keep as many players as possible because I believe in them so much, “he added.
The leadership complied with Lillini and only sold Erick Lira to Cruz Azul and kept the same team that reached the semifinals in the previous tournament, where they lost to eventual champion Atlas.
“It was a good way to win a home game, but it is the first date, it is a small step, but we had to give it more than everything to show that we are valid,” added the coach.
With this result, Pumas adds his first three points to place himself among the leaders together with Chivas, Pachuca, Cruz Azul and Ciudad Juárez, who also started winning.
Toluca had a bad presentation with its new coach, Ignacio Ambriz, who relieved Argentine Hernán Cristante after a fleeting stint at Huesca in the Spanish second division.
“We had a great rival in front of us and we couldn’t control their dynamics. They were superior in all aspects and the result is scandalous, ”said Ambriz. “I have to work too hard, I’ve only been with the team for a month, but I am aware that we are going to improve a lot.”
“Nobody likes to lose by five, which could have been six, in his presentation, it is difficult. It is what most worried me because we are working with the illusion of starting on the right foot and it was not like that for which I apologize, “he added.
The Red Devils, who are the third most successful team in the country with 10 titles, seek to break a drought that dates back to Clausura 2010.
Pumas knocked on the door from the second minute when Sebastián Saucedo sent a great pass for the Brazilian Diogo, who in front of the goal sent his shot from the side.
The university students took the lead when Alan Mozo gave a 20-meter pass to De Oliveira, who launched himself into the area to finish off his right leg and leave goalkeeper Gustavo Gutiérrez without a chance.
Toluca generated very little danger. His clearest chance was at 41 with a shot from Daniel Álvarez that was rejected by goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera.
At 56, Diogo took a shot into the area that goalkeeper Gutiérrez deflected and the ball hit the crossbar.
Shortly after, Diogo’s insistence was rewarded when he received a cross from the right to hit the ball with his right leg that left Gutiérrez without a chance.
The visitor was not recovering emotionally when Mozo sent a cross to the right and De Oliveira received with his right leg and a scissors was launched that hit the left post before getting into the back of the net.
Already with some Red Devils blurred, Ruvalcaba reached the area on the left side in a quick transition and converted with a low shot to the left of Gutiérrez.
The university students had not finished their work and Meritao received a ball from the left side and took a low shot that put the scoreboard 5-0.