Alfonso Blanco got the start in goal for the Tuzos as Óscar Pérez continues to recover from a calf injury. Interestingly enough, Pachuca – with the worst defensive record in the league going into tonight – has now posted two consecutive shutouts, both with Blanco in goal.
Tonight, he had some help from the woodwork. In the 78th minute, while Veracruz was pushing forward in search of an equalizer, a cross-cum-shot from Óscar Vera hit the crossbar, and the rebound was then sent into the post by Aníbal Zurdo.
Pachuca had gone in front in the 52nd minute through Franco Jara, who got the start after previously having amassed just 39 minutes of play for the Tuzos. Jara’s goal was a controversial one, though, as it appeared that the Argentinian was well offside on the play that eventually proved to be the game-winner.
Ariel Nahuelpán, who came on for Jara late on, put the ball in the back of the net in stoppage time, but his would-be goal was disallowed. However, the flag did not go up for Jara’s goal, much to the disgust of Veracruz coach Carlos Reinoso, who made a beeline for the referees after the final whistle.
With the 0-1 win, Pachuca reaches 14 points while Veracruz remains on 19.
Veracruz: Sergio García, Rodrigo Noya, Emmanuel García (Joe Corona 72′), Jesús Paganoni, Leobardo López, Gabriel Peñalba, Fernando Meneses, Édgar Andrade (Aníbal Zurdo 57′), Juan Ángel Albín (Óscar Vera 46′), Daniel Villalva, Julio César Furch.
Pachuca: Alfonso Blanco, Omar Esparza, Joaquín Martínez, Aquivaldo Mosquera, Hugo Isaác Rodríguez, Jorge Hernández, Rodolfo Pizarro, Erick Gutiérrez, Hirving Lozano (Víctor Guzmán 88′), Franco Jara (Ariel Nahuelpán 81′), Cristian Penilla (Miguel Herrera 65′).