Remember when we noted that Fidel Martínez is clutch to Pumas’ league-leading attack? Yesterday he once again proved his worth, scoring his side’s lone goal to defeat Veracruz and advance to the Liga MX Apertura 2015 semifinals.
The strike came in the ninth minute, when the Ecuadorian star tapped in a perfectly placed one-touch cross from Ismael Sosa from close range to put Pumas ahead.
With the series tied 1-1 on aggregate after Veracruz’s 1-0 first leg win, things were tense. Very tense.
Not only did both teams have solid opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net, there were clear penalty shouts from both benches as well. First, a handball in the box…
…then maybe a little push from behind.
Pumas put the pressure on as the clock ticked towards full time. One of their best efforts of the night came from Gerardo Alcoba, who absolutely smashed it in the 78th, fueling a sensational save from Melitón Hernández.
Toluca was also a 1-0 victor yesterday, defeating Puebla to secure a coveted semifinal spot – their fourth semifinal appearances in five seasons – after drawing 2-2 in the first leg on Thursday.
Puebla kept itself in the match after a decent first half, despite plenty of shots and possession from Toluca (who had 23 shots with nine on frame to end the night). Cristian Campestrini came up huge with monstrous saves like this one:
After a grueling 83 minutes, it was Fernando Uribe who finally put his side ahead. His control over this ball – taking it down with his chest and cooly slotting it into the bottom corner – is outrageous. You’re going to want to watch this on a loop for a few minutes, I guarantee it.
On to semis! Toluca will face Tigres midweek, while Pumas will take part in another Clásico Capitalino vs. Club América.