Clausura 2017 Round 15 Results: Veracruz 2, Pumas 0

In a game that kept their playoff hopes alive, and maybe saving them from demotion, Veracruz kept it’s late-season bounceback going with an easy 2-0 win at Pumas. The first goal came in bizarre fashion-while Pumas was attempting to clear the ball out of the goal area, a defender kicked the ball out but unknowingly kicked it right into the back of a Pumas teammate’s head! OUCH! Leandro Velazquez got the ricochet and put it past the goalie for the first score. Cristian Pellerini added the insurance goal in the 84th minute. The real story may be how Pumas was extremely undisciplined-first in the 32nd minute, Dario Veron kicked the ball unintentionally into the leg of a nearby Veracruz defender then while going for the ball inadvertently stomped on the player’s foot-Veron got stomped with a Rojas! HE GONE! Then right before the game ended, the finally-back-in-action Nicolas Castillo made his return a short one thanks to a low scissor-kick takedown on a Veracruz player with the ball-Rojas! HE GONE! And apparently right before that Pumas coach Juan Palencia had some not-so-nice words for the refs, so Rojas! HE GONE! That’s a total of THREE Rojas in a game, very unusual. The pending suspensions may very well seal Pumas’ fate and cost them a playoff spot. Veracruz, meanwhile, climbs to only 2 points out but, more importantly, now pulls 2 points ahead of Morelia and 1 point ahead of Jaguares in the battle to avoid demotion. Since their 6-game losing streak Veracruz has now won 2 of 3 to get back in it. But the hard part is still ahead, their road to the playoffs and avoiding demotion now goes through a possible death march-Monterrey and Tijuana. And another thing that won’t help Veracruz possibly-the shorthanded Pumas, certainly without top scorer Castillo and coach Pellerini among others, has to go to Morelia next week.

Game Stats:
Goals-Leandro Velazquez (Veracruz, 38′, 1st of tournament), Cristian Pellerini (Veracruz, 84′, 1st of tournament)
Shots on Goal-Nil
Corner kicks-Veracruz 7, Pumas 2
Amarillas-Pumas 1 (Josecarlos Van Rankin, 86′)
Rojas-Pumas 3 (Dario Veron, 32′, Juan Pellerini, coach, 88′, Nicolas Castillo, 89′)

Venue: Estadio Olimpico Universitario, Mexico City
Attendance: 22,400 (46.3% capacity)

Next up:
Pumas-at Morelia (4/29)
Veracruz-Monterrrey (4/28)