Rafael Puente Jr. will no longer serve as head coach of Pumas, ‘mutually agreeing’ to terminate his contract with the team following the 2-0 home defeat to Pachuca on Sunday. 

After the game, Pumas released a statement to detail the manager’s immediate departure:

“Club Universidad Nacional can confirm that Rafael Puente’s contract as head coach of the Pumas men’s first team has been terminated by mutual consent, as have those of his coaching staff. The club would like to thank them all for their hard work and professionalism, and wish them success in their future projects,” the club stated.

Pumas will now begin the search for a permanent replacement. 

Puente Jr. first joined Pumas in November 2022, replacing Andres Lillini as head coach. He signed a six month contract, with the option of an extension based on results that he did not meet. He leaves the team in 16th place on the Liga MX table, with just 11 points in 12 games and a disappointing record of 3W-7L-2D. 

Despite a decent start to the tournament, winning two of the first three games, the team saw a decline after February 11’s fixture against Tigres. Following week five of the tournament, Pumas lost six of their seven matches. 

Supporters quickly grew tired of Rafa Puente Jr. and the results, culminating in constant boos and chants against the manager. The situation worsened on Sunday, forcing Puente Jr. to make a quick exit off the field while evading water bottles and beer being thrown at him. 

Now, an interim manager will step in for the last five games of the tournament. 

Credit: 90min.com

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