Pachuca's Jonathan Urretaviscaya (pictured) looks up the field in a Liga MX Apertura match against host Guadalajara on October 23, 2016. (Photo: Jimena Munoz/Straffon Images)
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Pachuca (8W-3D-3L, 27 points) completed a successful week with a 2-1 win over host Guadalajara in 2016 Liga MX Apertura play on Sunday.
The victory -- just four days after a 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions quarterfinal clinching 4-4 draw with Olimpia – extended the Tuzos’ unbeaten streak in domestic play to six games. After 14 games, they currently sit in second place with 27 points, three behind table-topping Club Tijuana.
For goalkeeper Óscar Perez, the key to the reigning Liga MX champion’s form has been team spirit and desire.
“The humility and hunger that all the boys have, they continue working as if they hadn’t won anything,” said the 43-year-old. “That is key and important and we have to continue like that. If we are qualified or not [for the Liguilla], we should go out to win the following match.”
The win against Chivas was not an easy one. With the score locked at 1-1 Pachuca was reduced to 10 men in the 67th minute, when attacker Hirving Lozano was sent off with a second yellow card. Despite that disadvantage, Pachuca managed to net the game-winning goal with four minutes left in normal through Jonathan Urretaviscaya.
Perez was quick to credit head coach Diego Alonso’s tactics for giving Pachuca a chance to take all the points.
“The team was set up well and we were able to get the result,” he finished. “Diego’s idea is always to have an offensive team, which is looking for the opponent’s goal. It got complicated when we were down a man.”
Pachuca returns to action on October 29 against visiting Atlas.