Javier Cortes delivers Clausura to Pumas
With a late, magical goal from Javier Cortes, Pumas were crowned Clausura champions at the Olimpico Universitario, their 2-1 result giving them a 3-2 aggregate victory over Morelia. The title was Pumas's first in two years, giving Universidad Nacional seven all-time Mexican Primera championships.
Cortes's came after the attacker received what initially looked an innocent pass from the right flank. The 21-year-old proceeded to move through three men before unleashing a shot off Frederico Vilar's post, securing Pumas’s title.
The match-winner broke open a game that had seen its two previous goals granted by the official's whistle.
Francisco Palencia gave Pumas the lead in the 14th minute, converting from the spot after he was taken down by Vilar. Putting his shot into the middle of goal, Palencia gave the home side a 2-1 advantage.
Eleven minutes later, Aldo Leao Ramirez's pass to Miguel Sabah forced Miguel Palacios to take down Monarca’s Mexican international. Jaime Lozano put his kick off the bottom of the left post and into the Pumas goal, equalizing for the visitors.
In the 57th minute, Morelia nearly took their first lead of the tie only to be rebuked by the day's hero. Elias Hernandez found Joao Rojas in the Pumas area, with Cortes clearing the resulting shot off the line.
After Cortes retook the lead for Pumas, Morelia had a final chance to even the score, though Luis Gabriel Rey's 86th minute shot would run just wide of goal.
Pumas, second seeded coming into the Liguilla, had to defeat Monterrey, Chivas of Guadalajara and Morelia to claim the Clausura. The club now stands even with Cruz Azul on Mexico's all time list, behind only Toluca (nine titles), America (10) and Chivas (11).