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Pumas UNAM and Club América have been out to better each other on the pitch every season, but the matches mostly end in a draw. Both teams have two wins each in their last 10 meetings, with all other games ending in a draw.
It would not be a surprise if this week’s fixture also ends in a draw, but the odds are in favor of the away side. They did not have any game in the middle of the week and were at home after the win over Juarez.
Pumas UNAM were in Barcelona for the weekend and were thrashed by the Spanish side. They were beaten 6-0 at Camp Nou by Dani Alves’ old side, and that would have been a big blow to the players’ confidence levels.
When Pumas UNAM last met Club America, the two sides were playing in Clausura earlier this year. The closely fought game ended goalless despite Pumas UNAM playing the lat 10 minutes with just 10 men.
Diogo was sent off in the 81st minute for a second bookable offense, just three minutes after he picked up his first booking. Both sides had 8 shots at goal, with just two being on target. They were so evenly matched that they had an almost similar number of passes and crosses in the match. The two sides ended the game with the 5 corners, 52 duels, and two goalkeeper saves each.
The last time Pumas UNAM won against Club America was in the knockout stages of the Apertura last season. They came from behind after Emanuel Aguilera handed the home side an early lead in the first half. Washington Corozo scored twice in the first half, with Higor Meritão sealing the 3-1 win with a goal in the 82nd minute.
Club America’s last win over Pumas UNAM was also in last year’s Apertura. They won 2-0 when they faced the opponents in the league stage, with Richard Sánchez scoring the first goal in the 36th minute and then assisting Mauro Laínez in the 92nd minute.
Pumas UNAM made it to the Apertura playoffs last season with a win on the final day of the league stage. They came from 3-1 behind to beat Cruz Azul on the final day to seal an 11th place finish and went on to make it to the semi-final, where they lost to Atlas.
It was a similar situation in the Clausura as well, with Pumas UNAM beating table toppers Pachuca on the final day to seal another 11th placed finish. However, this time were unable to make it out of the reclassification round and were knocked out by Guadalajara.
To improve their league position, the Liga MX side went out and made some interesting signings in the summer. Gustavo del Prete, Eduardo Salvio, Adrián Aldrete, Dani Alves, César Huerta, Higor Meritão and Gil Alcalá were lured in to bolster the squad.
Diogo was loaned in from Plaza Colonia, while Marco García, Jorge Ruvalcaba and José Galindo were promoted from the U20 and Tabasco sides.
Alan Mozo, Rogério, Sebastián Saucedo, Omar Islas, and Alfredo Talavera were sold or released in the summer to make space for the incoming signings. Favio Álvarez was loaned out to CA Talleres, while Washington Corozo returned to Sporting Cristal following the expiry of his loan deals.
While the signings were good on paper, they have not been able to get the results on the pitch. Pumas UNAM have played six matches in the league so far and drawn five times. They have been held by Club Tijuana, Club Leon, Pachuca, Mazatlan, and Monterrey in the league.
Their only win this season has come at home when they hosted Club Necaxa. New signing Adrián Aldrete scored the lone goal of the match in the 18th minute as Pumas UNAM edged out a 1-0 win.
They played Spanish side Celta Vigo in a club friendly last month and drew that match too. Diogo scored the opener for Pumas UNAM, but Iago Aspas equalized just before the halftime whistle to seal a 1-1 draw. The Mexican side were up against Barcelona last weekend, and were thrashed 6-0.
Club America have been playing friendlies with the European sides in the middle of their season and they have not helped the players do their best. A 4th placed finish in Clausura was the benchmark set by the club earlier this year, but it looks impossible to replicate in Apertura this season.
They have signed three players this summer with Jonathan Rodríguez, Néstor Araújo, and Jürgen Damm being added to the squad. Emilio Lara and Fernando Tapia have been promoted to the first team as well after their impressive performances for the U20 side.
Club America had a mixed start to the season as they drew goalless with Atlas in the first match. They were beaten by Monterrey 3-2 in the next game week, but they managed to bounce back with a 1-0 win over Toluca in the 3rd game week. Richard Sánchez scored the lone goal of the match in the 93rd minute to seal their first win of the season.
Club America were up against Chelsea in a club friendly next, and their form in the league suffered. They were beaten 2-1 by the Premier League side with Mason Mount scoring a late winner for the Blues.
They were up against Manchester City next, and Pep Guardiola’s side also defeated them by the same score line. Henry Martín scored the equalizer in the 43rd minute after Keven de Bruyne scored in the 30th minute. However, they could not make it to halftime level on the scoresheet as the Belgian scored again to make it 2-1 for the Cityzens.
Club America were back in Liga MX action after 10 days, and they were beaten easily by Club Tijuana. Lisandro López and Joaquín Montecinos scored for the home side to seal a 2-0 win despite Club America dominating the game with 63% possession.
The Liga MX side could not concentrate much on the league again as they were back in the United States to face Real Madrid. Club America did well to hold Los Blancos to a 2-2 draw, but the travel and playing every 3-4 days caught up with the players.
They lost once again when they were back in league action and were beaten by Club Leon. Club America had another friendly game against Los Angeles and they won in the penalty shootout. The win saw them gain some confidence as they won 2-1 against Juarez last weekend.
Roger Martínez is out with a knee injury he suffered in July, and is only expected back in September.3
Liga MX: Club León vs Mazatlán FC
La Liga: Almeria vs Real Madrid
La Liga: Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano
Premier League: Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League: Arsenal vs Leicester City
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|Pumas UNAM vs Club América
|Estadio Olimpico Undersitario
|Saturday, August 13 at 8.00 pm EST onwards
|How to watch
|Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and
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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