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Pumas UNAM to win or draw
Pumas UNAM and Mazatlan both need wins to remain in contention for the playoffs. Despite their winless run in the recent games, both sides are within touching distance.
Pumas UNAM are closest, and could jump to 8th in the league table with a win on Saturday as the rest of the teams take a break because of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers that are on right now. They are currently 13th in the league table with just three wins from their ten matches, but with a game in hand that can propel them many spots upwards. The home side will have some confidence from a big win over New England Revolution in the CONCACAF Champions League last week, although that did end up being followed by a loss to Necaxa last weekend. It was their only win in their last six matches.
Mazatlan started the season with three back-to-back losses but bounced back to win two in a row against Club Tijuana and Club America. However, things did not improve and they’ve picked up just one point from their last five matches. They have scored just thrice in those matches while conceding nine times.
The advantage for Mazatlan would be their head-to-head record against Pumas UNAM. They have won 2 of their last five meetings and lost just once. Mazatlan seem to have brought out their best every single time in recent meetings between the two sides, and this weekend could be the same. However, we think it’ll be the end of the streak that is more likely.
— PUMAS (@PumasMX) March 24, 2022
Pumas finished 11th in the Apertura and managed to sneak into the playoffs after a win on the final day. They needed a late, dramatic win over Cruz Azul to make it, and that cost Mazatlan a place in the playoffs.
Going by their form right now, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they need something similar this time around too. Pumas are yet to show what they are capable of, and the players have struggled to get on the same page on the pitch.
They have lost each of their last three matches in the league and have shown little promise in any. They had kicked off the Clausura season with three wins in their opening four games but are yet to pick up three points since.
The good news for Pumas is that their players do well under pressure. They pulled off a late win to secure the playoff position in the Apertura and did something similar in the Champions League last week.
They were down 3-0 to the New England Revolution after the first leg, and given their form, nobody expected them to make a comeback. The Liga MX side took the game head-on and snatched the lead in the second leg in the first half, before dramatically getting to 3-0 just before the hour-mark. The Revs stopped the barrage for the remainder of the game, but it meant little in the end. Pumas took the MLS side to a penalty shootout and won 4-3 under pressure – qualifying for the semi-final against all odds.
— Mazatlán F. C. (@MazatlanFC) March 23, 2022
After picking up just two wins in the Clausura, Mazatlan are rock bottom on the table right now. However, they are just 5 points off the playoff spots at the moment and can still manage to make it at the very end.
With just six games to go after their clash with Pumas UNAM this weekend, Mazatlan will be looking to make the most of their chance of closing down the deficit. Should they pick up the win, they would find themselves just 2 points adrift of 12th place, where Santos Laguna sit after a series of good results after they fell to second-bottom in the league.
Mazatlan missed the playoffs during Apertura despite picking up a win on their final day of the season. They were level on points with Atlético San Luis, who finished 12th – the final playoff spot – because of their goal difference. Mazatlan had a -6 GD, while San Luis edged them to the last place with a -4 GD.
Mazatlan were expected to come out all guns blazing in the Clausura but started off in poor form. They lost their first two matches, and fired manager Beñat San José. Christian Ramírez took over as the interim manager and managed to win against Club Tijuana after losing 4-3 against Tigres in his first game in charge. Gabriel Caballero was appointed as the new manager, the third in charge in a short season. and he hit the ground running with a 2-1 win over Club America.
Things were looking good for the bottom-placed side but all that changed within three days as they were beaten 2-0 by Queretaro. Kevin Escamilla and Ángel Sepúlveda scored in the second half to break the winning run of Mazatlan and bring the high-flying side back to the ground.
Losses to Pachuca, Monterrey, and Club Leon followed for Caballero’s team. Their only point in the last 5 matches came in a goalless draw against Club Necaxa – a game in which they managed just one shot on target.
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|Pumas vs Mazatlan Information|
|Teams||Pumas UNAM vs Mazatlan|
|Location||Estadio Olimpico Universitario|
|Time||Saturday, March 26 at 7pm EST|
|How to watch||Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes|
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Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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