Pumas UNAM turned a first-half goal into a 0-1 away win against Toluca. The result is a third straight road win for the universitarios, while the Diablos Rojos saw a four-game home winning streak ended and are now winless in two overall.
Both teams came into this game level on points and looking to secure a spot in the playoffs; the victory guarantees Pumas will be in the Liguilla, while Toluca is not yet mathematically safe. The visitors had the first good chance in this one, with Felipe Mora receiving the ball from Carlos González in good position, but he sent his shot over the crossbar.
At the other end, Ernesto Vega had the first notable chance for Toluca, but defender Alejandro Arribas intervened to send the ball out for a corner kick. The Diablos Rojos enjoyed the majority of possession, but they weren’t incisive with it.
Instead, in the 32nd minute, Pumas took the lead. UNAM moved the ball quickly down field, with Alan Mozo playing in Carlos González, whose shot from inside the box beat Alfredo Talavera to make it 0-1.
The Mozo-González connection had another opportunity moments later, but that time Talavera was able to make the save and keep Toluca within a goal going into halftime.
In the second half, Pumas looked for an insurance goal, with Pablo Barrera trying his luck from distance in the 55th minute, while Toluca pressed for an equalizer. The game turned into an end-to-end affair.
In the 75th minute, the Diablos Rojos had their best chance to tie the game when Antonio Ríos sent a dangerous ball across the face of goal, but Vega couldn’t get the final touch.
Meanwhile, substitutes David Cabrera and Matías Alustiza were active in the attack for Pumas, and in the waning moments of the game Alustiza came close to finding the upper corner with his shot from outside the box. The second goal ultimately didn’t come, but all they needed was one.
With the 0-1 win, Pumas reach 29 points while Toluca still has 26.
Toluca: Alfredo Talavera, Omar Tobio (Adrián Mora 26′), Osvaldo González, Cristian Borja, Rodrigo Salinas, William da Silva (Enrique Triverio 45′), Antonio Ríos, Luis Quiñones, Pablo Barrientos, Luis Mendoza (Marcelo Cabrera 83′), Ernesto Vega.
Pumas: Alfredo Saldívar, Alan Mozo, Alejandro Arribas, Alan Mendoza, Pablo Jáquez, Víctor Malcorra, Andrés Iniestra, Martín Rodríguez (Matías Alustiza 76′), Pablo Barrera, Felipe Mora (Juan Iturbe 89′), Carlos González (David Cabrera 67′).