Puebla handed the reigning champions a surprise loss in the Clausura 2018 season opener as the Poblanos picked up a 2-1 victory against Tigres UANL. The win will be a moral-boosting one for Puebla, who are involved in this season’s relegation fight.
The visiting universitarios started the game off well, with more possession and a few good opportunities to score through André-Pierre Gignac, but it was ultimately the hosts who opened the scoring.
In the 25th minute, Puebla won a free kick and they put that set piece to good use. Tigres failed to clear their lines, with the ball falling to Alonso Zamora; Nahuel Guzmán made the initial save, but Brayan Angulo was there to finish off the loose ball. 1-0 Puebla.
It looked like Puebla would take that lead to halftime, but in the final moments of the half Tigres tied the game. Moisés Muñoz fumbled a cross, dropping the ball and allowing Enner Valencia an easy finish as he made it 1-1 in the 43rd minute.
In the second half, led by an inspired Francisco Acuña, Puebla took control of the game. The hosts came within millimeters of retaking the lead in the 70th minute when Guzmán spilled a header by Acuña but managed to scramble back to scoop the ball off the line just before it fully crossed over.
But in the 78th minute, Acuña’s efforts were rewarded with Puebla’s second goal. An attempted clearance rebounded to Acuña just inside the box, and after taking a touch he beat Guzmán from the top of the six-yard box to make it 2-1 for the hosts.
La Franja had chances to add to the lead as well, with the best opportunity coming in the 83rd minute when Acuña set Christian Marrugo up perfectly with a cross to the far post, only for Marrugo to fail to find the target.
With the 2-1 win, Puebla reaches three points while Tigres still have zero.
Puebla: Moisés Muñoz, Brayan Angulo, Luis Venegas, Alonso Zamora, Hugo Rodríguez, Alonso Escoboza (Óscar Rojas 80′), Francisco Acuña, Christian Marrugo (José Daniel Guerrero 87′), Jorge Enríquez, Pablo González, Christian Tabó (Patricio Araujo 63′).
Tigres: Nahuel Guzmán, Juninho, Hugo Ayala, Jorge Torres Nilo (Alberto Acosta 84′), Luis Rodríguez, Rafael Carioca (Lucas Zelarayón 72′), Javier Aquino, Jesús Dueñas, Eduardo Vargas (Ismael Sosa 63′), André-Pierre Gignac, Enner Valencia.