After falling behind 0-3, Veracruz came close to but ultimately couldn’t complete a comeback as they lost 2-3 to Pachuca. The result ends a two-game winless streak for the Tuzos and keeps them in the playoff conversation, while the Tiburones Rojos have now lost two in a row and are winless in seven.
Veracruz came out attacking as they looked to halt their poor run of form at home, but they struggled to create goal-scoring chances outside of a few set pieces. Pachuca stayed composed and began to tilt the game in their favor with Pablo López and Víctor Guzmán providing outlets.
The visitors found the breakthrough in the 36th minute with López playing in Franco Jara, whose shot from outside the box beat Pedro Gallese to make it 0-1 for the Tuzos.
The second half started out as a battle in midfield as neither team could make much incisive headway – but then the floodgates opened just past the hour mark.
In the 62nd minute, Sebastián Palacios took the ball up the wing, played a give-and-go at the top of the box, and headed the ball across the face of goal for Víctor Palacios, who side-footed the ball home to make it 0-2.
Just a minute after that, Franco Jara scored his second and the Tuzos’ third as he finished off a cross from Palacios with a diving header to give Pachuca what looked like an unassailable 0-3 lead.
But in the 66th minute, Adrián Luna sent a free kick into the box and Óscar Murillo inadvertently sent it through the hands of Alfonso Blanco to make it 1-3 with his own-goal.
Then, in the 76th minute, Veracruz won a corner kick. Their initial header hit the post and stayed in play as Pachuca was unable to clear their lines; when the ball was sent back into the mixer, Cristian Menéndez was there to head it home, making it 2-3 and setting up a frenetic finale.
The Tiburones came close to finding an equalizer on several occasions, but Blanco was able to make the necessary saves against Menéndez and substitute Joe Abrigo as Pachuca hung on for a 2-3 victory.
With the 2-3 win, Pachuca reaches 19 points while Veracruz still has nine.
Veracruz: Pedro Gallese, Luis Caicedo, Rodrigo Noya, Osmar Mares, Luis Noriega (José Ruíz 45′), Wilder Cartagena, Adrián Luna, Diego Chávez (Joe Abrigo 79′), Bryan Carrasco, Ronaldo Prieto (Jefferson Murillo 55′), Cristian Menéndez.
Pachuca: Alfonso Blanco, Miguel Tapias, Joaquín Martínez, Óscar Murillo, Alexis Peña, Víctor Guzmán, Jorge Hernández, Pablo López (Christian Giménez 77′), Ángelo Sagal (Francisco Figueroa 66′), Franco Jara, Sebastián Palacios (Jaine Barreiro 87′).