Fans flocked to Mexico City’s Estadio CU Wednesday night to witness Dani Alves’ Liga MX debut and the legendary Brazilian did not disappoint.
A near sell-out crowd – a rarity for a midweek match – saw Alves start and play the entire game for the Pumas, supplying the game-tying assist with a corner kick in minute 90.
UNAM dominated the contest against winless Mazatlán FC but were staring at their first loss of the Liga MX season until Pumas skipper Nicolás Freire rose up to head home the perfect delivery from history’s most-decorated player.
The visiting Cañoneros will feel hard done by, however, as the decisive corner kick was wrongly awarded. Pumas forward Juan Ignacio Dinenno knocked a long cross over the end line with his knee, but neither ref Luis Enrique Santander – who was trailing the play by some 30 meters or more – nor his line judge made the correct call.
Lone undefeated team in Liga MX
With the draw, UNAM moved to 1-4-0 on the season, the only Liga MX team that has yet to lose in the Apertura 2022. However, the failure to take advantage of scoring opportunities once again forced “los felinos” to settle for a tie.
With 7 points after five games, the Pumas are in 7th place.
There were four undefeated clubs heading into Matchday 5, but Puebla, Pachuca and León took tumbles. The most surprising result was Necaxa’s 2-0 victory over Pachuca Wednesday night.
Pachuca was the No. 1 seed last season, but Guillermo Almada’s side could not find a way past Rayos goalie Luis Malagón.
Necaxa would have to be considered the surprise of the season thus far. Their 3-0-2 record has them in 4th place, 1 point above Puebla (a 1-0 loser to table-topping Monterrey) and the Tuzos.
The three teams in front of the Rayos are Monterrey, Toluca and Tigres, each boasting a 4-0-1 record. Monterrey sits in first place with a +5 goal differential while the Diablos and Tigres are at +4.
Matchday 6 is right around the corner, with Toluca paying a visit to FC Juárez on Friday. Saturday’s slate of games features five contests: Cruz Azul-Necaxa; Tigres-Querétaro; Chivas-Pachuca; Puebla-Atlético de San Luis; and, Tijuana-Mazatlán FC. The Liga MX schedule then features a Sunday triple-header: Pumas-Monterrey; Santos Laguna-Atlas; León-América.