Martín Palermo got his tenure as Pachuca head coach off to a positive start as the Tuzos earned a 1-0 victory against Pumas UNAM. The result keeps Pachuca unbeaten at home this season, while the universitarios remain winless in the Clausura 2019.
With both teams badly in need of a victory, the game was hard-fought and initially played largely in the midfield. The first clear chance didn’t come until the 18th minute, when Franco Jara played in Ismael Sosa, but he couldn’t put his shot on target.
Then, Víctor Guzmán had a shot from outside the box that Alfredo Saldívar sent out for a corner kick, and in the 30th minute Pachuca had a would-be goal disallowed for offside.
Pumas found a chance or two of their own as well, with Felipe Mora sending a header just wide of the post in the waning moments of the half.
The second half started at a good clip, and Edwin Cardona had a great chance just moments after the restart after Raúl López played him in, but he couldn’t finish the opportunity.
In the 63rd minute, Pumas nearly took the lead after a cross deflected off Víctor Guzmán to leave Alfonso Blanco scrambling, but the keeper was able to react in time to send the ball out for a corner.
Moments after that, Pachuca took the lead. In the 65th minute, Ismael Sosa sent a cross into the box and a flying Franco Jara headed it home to make it 1-0 for the Tuzos.
Pachuca, whose defense has been rather porous this season, sat back to protect their lead. Blanco was called into action to preserve the lead when Alan Mozo took a shot from distance, and UNAM had another opportunity in the 81st minute but Mora failed to put his header on frame.
There was a bit of late drama when Pumas earned a free kick just outside the box in the final seconds of stoppage time, but the set piece went straight into the wall as Pachuca held on to the 1-0 lead.
With the 1-0 win, Pachuca reaches six points while Pumas still have two.
Pachuca: Alfonso Blanco, Jaine Barreiro, Raúl López, Emmanuel García, Óscar Murillo, Víctor Guzmán, Edwin Cardona, Jorge Hernández, Ángelo Sagal (Víctor Dávila 63′), Franco Jara (Leonardo Ulloa 89′), Ismael Sosa (Erick Aguirre 83′).
Pumas: Alfredo Saldívar, Alan Mozo, Alejandro Arribas, Alan Mendoza (Brian Figueroa 74′), Pablo Jáquez, Víctor Malcorra, Andrés Iniestra, Martín Rodríguez (Adolfo Hernández 88′), Felipe Mora, Juan Iturbe (David Cabrera 58′), Carlos González.