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3 things we learned from Pumas UNAM's 1-0 win over Club America

America are now winless in four clásicos.

Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

For the second tournament in a row, Club America look like they might succumb to the Superlider curse. Liga MX's top seed trails in their Liguilla series after local rivals Pumas UNAM pulled off an impressive 1-0 win in the first leg of their quarterfinal.

America was under pressure from the start, with a long free kick by Ismael Sosa forcing Moises Muñoz into a tough save after it deflected off the wall. Sosa nearly scored again just before the break with an absolute bomb of a shot from 25 yards, and Muñoz was lucky it struck off the crossbar, as he was very badly beaten.

The visitors' best chance of the first half came off a bit of awful goalkeeping from 'Pikolin' Alejandro Palacios. He spilled a tame header by Jesus Molina, but recovered to prevent Oribe Peralta from scoring on the rebound.

Pikolin collided with Michael Arroyo in the 51st minute and after a long delay, was forced to come off. Alfredo Saldivar, who has made just three starts for the senior team, replaced him. He didn't make any big mistakes during his time in net, though he wasn't forced into any big saves. The Pumas defense, marshaled by 'Pikolin II' Marco Palacios, was excellent.

Pumas consistently looked like the more likely team to score in the second half, and their first big chance came in the 59th minute. Muñoz made a big save on David Cabrera, then an even better one on Sosa's follow-up that took a deflection.

But once Daniel Ludueña came on for Pumas, the game changed. Muñoz was on his toes again in the 76th minute, rushing out to deny Eduardo Herrera, but the Pumas striker would get the better of America's keeper three minutes later. He directed a perfect header into the back of the net off a Ludueña cross, guiding his team to a much-needed home win in the first leg.

Pumas UNAM: A. Palacios (Saldivar 56'), Veron, M. Palacios, Fuentes, Van Rankin, Cabrera, Romagnoli (Ludueña 71'), Sosa, Lopez, Cortes, Herrera (Ramirez 90')

Goals: Herrera (79')

Club America: Muñoz, Pab. Aguilar, Paul Aguilar, Goltz, Layun (Mares 46'), Molina, Martinez (Diaz 83'), Guerrero, Mendoza, Arroyo (Rey 69'), Peralta

Goals: None.

3 things

1. America's improbable clásico winless streak continues - Even though they finished the season on top of the table -- and did so despite a bad run of form at the end of their campaign -- America are still winless in their clásicos this season. In addition to their regular season loss to Pumas, they fell to Cruz Azul as well, and could only manage a 0-0 draw against an awful Chivas team. Something about the big rivalry games is keeping America from scoring in them.

2. Eduardo Herrera is having a great season - Herrera was Pumas' leading scorer with eight goals in the league this year and had four in Copa MX. He added another to his tally on Wednesday night with the winner, on an absolutely brilliant header. Between the drop in form experienced by Juan Carlos Cacho and Martin Bravo, along with the eventual retirement of 'Paco' Francisco Palencia, Pumas have struggled to find the right player up top for years. Maybe Herrera is finally the striker they need.

3. Pumas weren't afraid to go for the win - Drawing 0-0 against the top seed, Guillermo Vázquez might have been happy just denying America an away goal. But he made an aggressive substitution, bringing on playmaker Daniel Ludueña for defensive midfielder Martin Romagnoli, and it paid off. Ludueña set up Herrera's winner with a perfect diagonal like he has regularly for Estudiantes Tecos, Santos Laguna and Pachuca over the last decade. Why do clubs keep selling him, again?