Pumas hoisted their first Mexican league trophy in 1977, and their sixth on Sunday. Goal.com takes a look back at the first five titles in Pumas' storied history.Pumas knocked off Pachuca in a dramatic final to close out the Clausura 2009 season. The accomplishment will allow Pumas the privilege to add a sixth star to their crest and a sixth league trophy on their mantle.
But how did the club manage to earn their first five?
Pumas finished eighth in the overall table and their Clausura 2004 title seemed like eons before. To their fortune, Pumas drew Veracruz in the quarterfinals. Buoyed by Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Vearacruz were a surprise superlider but their inexperience showed against Pumas' superiority. With Hugo Sanchez at the helm, Pumas grew more and more confident during the Liguilla. Pumas routed Veracruz 3-0 in the opening match and tied 1-1 at Estadio Luis Pirata Fuente. It was the only match Pumas would not win the rest of the way. Pumas beat Atlas 4-3 at home and 2-1 away in the semifinals, then beat Monterrey 2-1 at home and 1-0 in Estadio Tecnologico on Dec. 11, 2004 to claim their fifth league championship. With the win, Pumas became the first - and only - team to have won consecutive short-season championships.
Boosted by Bruno Marioni's 18 goals, Pumas were a force during the Clausura 2004 season. Pumas drew a gritty Atlas team in the quarterfinals and won both games by a combined 5-2. City rivals Cruz Azul gave Pumas little resistence as Pumas knocked off Cruz Azul 3-2 in the decisive leg. Chivas awaited and the final captivated the nation. After a 1-1 tie in Estadio Jalisco, the two teams played to a tough 0-0 draw in Estadio Olimpico Universitario. After 120 scoreless minutes, penalties decided the final. Pumas had the first attempt and Jaime Lozano converted. Adolfo "Bofo" Bautista followed with a successful spot kick. The two sides traded spot kicks until the fifth and final kick for each side. Ailton Da Silva scored for Pumas, but Chivas' Rafael Medina launched his shot over the crossbar and Pumas were crowned champs on their home field.
During the 90-91 season, Pumas were hands down the strongest team in league. Luis Garcia scored an astounding 30 goals in Pumas' 38 games as the club finished first overal in points (78), goals (67) and goal differential (38) and led the league in goals allowed (31) and fewest losses (six). Pumas waltzed through the quarterfinals (6-1 aggregate over Morelia) and the semifinals (3-0 over Puebla). America awaited in the final and las Aguilas surprised Pumas with a 3-2 win in Estadio Azteca. But Pumas would not be outdone as Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti scored on a free kick in the sixth mintue of the second leg. Pumas won 1-0 and took the final on a tiebreaker.
With strong performances from Hugo Sanchez and Ricardo Ferreti, two men who would later guide Pumas to league titles as managers, Pumas finished with the most points in the league. Pumas scored 79 goals en route to their lofty accomplishments. Pumas waltzed through the playoffs and met Cruz Azul in the final. After a 1-0 loss to la Maquina in the first leg, Pumas routed Cruz Azul in the final by 4-1 to win the championship.
Guadalajara, Toluca and Cruz Azul had their turn with winning consecutive league titles, but Pumas had not yet even tasted success once in their fledgling history. Although consecutive league titles was still nearly three decades away, Pumas finally won their first Mexican league title in Hugo Sanchez's rookie season. In the Liguilla, Pumas had wins over Atletico Español, Cruz Azul and San Luis en route to the final. In the final, Pumas met Universidad de Guadalajara. The first leg finished scoreless and the second match was destined for another similar outcome until Evanivaldo Castro scored the series-clinching goal 14 minutes from time as Pumas beat U de G 1-0 in the final.
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