Toluca extended their winning streak to three games – and jumped over Chivas to take first in the table – with a 0-1 victory against Pumas UNAM. The result is a second consecutive home loss for the universitarios.
Both teams came out attacking, and in the 14th minute Jesús Gallardo forced Alfredo Talavera into a good save, with the ball going out for a corner kick. Pumas looked comfortable on the field but couldn’t make their chances count.
Then, in the 27th minute, the visitors took the lead. Alfredo Saldívar dribbled out of the box and tried to lay the ball off for Darío Verón, but the pass was wayward and Carlos Esquivel picked it off, took a few touches, and sent his shot from distance into the empty net to make it 0-1 for Toluca.
Towards the end of the half, Pumas thought they should have had a penalty kick after Osvaldo González touched the ball with his arm in the box, but referee Jorge Antonio Pérez ruled it incidental.
Then, in the 44th minute, Talavera made an impressive rapid-fire series of saves on Gallardo, Alan Mendoza, and then Bryan Rabello, to keep the Diablos Rojos in the lead going into halftime.
In the second half, Pumas pushed forward in search of a tying goal, and Gallardo continued to look dangerous but Talavera was always there to stymie him.
In the end, despite out-shooting Toluca by a wide margin and racking up a double-digit number of corner kicks, Pumas was never able to find the breakthrough and they slumped to a loss by the minimum difference.
With the 0-1 win, Toluca reaches 25 points while Pumas still have 17.
Pumas: Alfredo Saldívar, Darío Verón, José García, Alan Mendoza, Gerardo Alcoba (Pablo Jáquez 60′), Abraham González, Kevin Escamilla (Javier Cortés 45′), Bryan Rabello, Pablo Barrera (Alejandro Zamudio 85′), Jesús Gallardo, Matías Britos.
Toluca: Alfredo Talavera, Rodrigo Salinas, Paulo da Silva, Efraín Velarde, Osvaldo González, Antonio Ríos, Jesús Méndez, Carlos Esquível (Sinha 80′), Gabriel Hauche, Fernando Uribe (Juan Delgadillo 89′), Pablo Barrientos (Erbin Trejo 66′).