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Pachuca to win
Pick made on 07/26/2022 at 04:54 AM EST
Club Necaxa have beaten Pachuca just thrice in their 17 meetings. They have not scored more than two goals in any of those matches, and all their wins have been by a single-goal margin. Given the form of the two sides, anything other than a win for Pachuca would be a surprise. They might be playing away from home, but they are the side in form and have had the upper hand over Club Necaxa in recent meetings.
When the two sides met earlier this year in the Clausura, Pachuca ran out 3-1 winners despite going down to 10 men in the first half. They had just 30 percent of the possession in the game but managed to make the most of their chances and seal the win. Romario Ibarra and Avilés Hurtado scored in the first 10 minutes of the match to hand Pachuca an early 2-0 lead.
The game looked set to be a one-sided affair, but Erick Sánchez was sent off in the 31st minute after VAR changed the referee’s decision. With the midfielder out, the away side decided to sit back, defend and keep hold of their lead instead of continuing their attack.
They did well to keep Club Necaxa at bay, who had trouble creating chances despite having most of the possession. To make things worse for the home side, Pachuca got a penalty in the 75th minute, and Nicolás Ibáñez converted it easily. Facundo Batista managed to pull one back for Necaxa in the 90th minute, but that was just a consolation, and the match result was decided.
The last time Necaxa defeated Pachuca was back in the 2020 edition of Apertura. David Cabrera scored in the 92nd minute of the game to seal the win. The captain’s goal silenced Estadio Miguel Hidalgo and also helped them qualify for the playoffs at the end.
Club Necaxa finished 14th in the Apertura last year but managed to do much better than that in the Clausura season earlier this year. They finished 9th in the league after winning three of their last nine matches and made it to the playoffs, before Cruz Azul knocked them out in the reclassification round.
To avoid a repeat and take the team to the next level, Club Necaxa moved reasonably in the transfer market. They have bought Hugo González, Brayan Garnica and Juan Cortéz, while José Esquivel, Edgar Méndez and Juan Pablo Segovia have also been snapped up on a free transfer. Alán Montes and Heriberto Jurado have been promoted from the U20 side, with Jesús Godínez and Daniel Parra joining on loan from Chivas and Monterrey respectively.
They have a few players missing from the previous squad as Idekel Domínguez, Fernando González, and Luis García have been sold. Maximiliano Salas has been loaned out, while Rodrigo Aguirre, Alonso Escoboza, Alexis Peña, Alan Medina, and Ulises Cardona have returned to their respective clubs following the expiry of their loan deals.
While the additions were good on paper, it has taken them time to find rhythm. Necaxa were beaten in their opening game by Toluca at home. Leonardo Fernández and Valber Huerta scored early in the game to hand the away side a 2-0 lead in the 24th minute.
Edgar Méndez had the chance to pull Necaxa back in the game from the spot, but his penalty was saved in the 34th minute. Fabricio Formiliano scored a few minutes later, and the two sides went in for halftime with the score at 2-1. Camilo Sanvezzo scored from the spot for the away side in the 69th minute and sealed the 3-1 win.
Milton Giménez went from hero to zero and back to hero again in the game against Queretaro. He handed Club Necaxa the lead in the 23rd minute before scoring an unfortunate own goal in the 31st minute to level things up. The striker scored in the 83rd minute again and helped his side win 2-1.
The win gave Necaxa players some confidence, but they were unable to channel that in their next game against Pumas UNAM. They lost 1-0, with Adrián Aldrete scoring the lone goal of the game in the 18th minute. It was a similar scoreline, but in their favor against Juarez FC at home in the next game. Facundo Batista scored the goal for Necaxa in the 36th minute, and they held on until the end despite Edgar Méndez getting sent off in the 72nd minute.
All players are fit and available for the upcoming game, except Edgar Méndez, who is suspended.
Pachuca finished on top of the table in the Clausura season earlier this year but lost to Atlas in the final. The improvement was a massive effort as they had not made it to the playoffs in the Apertura last year. With the team intact and capable of making it to the top of the table, Pachuca decided to spend wisely in the market. They signed Paulino de la Fuente, Marino Hinestroza, and Javier López while also promoting Alonso Aceves and José Eulogio from the U20 side.
Pachuca started their season at home against Queretaro, and Nicolás Ibáñez kicked off from where he left last season by scoring the game’s opening goal. Avilés Hurtado doubled the lead in the second half, which sealed a 2-0 win for the home side. Gustavo Cabral and Luis Chávez scored in the first half in the next match against Cruz Azul to help Pachuca take a comfortable 2-0.
The home side found it hard going in the game but managed to get a consolation goal from the spot in the 98th minute. Santiago Giménez’s goal saw the deficit reduced, but did not change the game’s result.
Mazatlan halted their winning start to the season by putting in a fight in the next game. They took the lead right after the second half started via Nicolás Benedetti. Pachuca went on an all-out attack after that, but could not get a goal until the 93rd minute. Nicolás Ibáñez scored the equalizer to keep their unbeaten start going. Pumas UNAM were up next for Pachuca, but both sides failed to break each other’s defenses. The game ended goalless, but with both sides reduced to 10 men as Adrián Aldrete and Luis Chávez were sent off.
Pumas UNAM’s Aldrete was sent off in the 86th minute, giving Pachuca some hope of scoring a late winner. But Chávez was forced to commit a last-man tackle to stop a counterattack, and was sent off in the final minute of the game to make sure Pachuca didn’t end up conceding a winner.
Javier López is ruled out, and there is no timeline for his return. Luis Chávez is suspended after his red card against Pumas UNAM.
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|Club Necaxa vs Pachuca
|Wednesday, July 27 at 8pm EST
|How to watch
|Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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