Every week the list of teams who are in the playoff race seems to become clearer, with teams toward the bottom of the standings looking ever less likely to be able to put together a run to move up the table. Still there are four weeks of soccer left to play and anything can still happen.
Necaxa 1, Toluca 2: A come from behind win for Toluca to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, while Necaxa is still searching for their first win of the season. Los Centellas got on the board first in the sixth minute when Dulce Alvarado hit a cross from the touchline into the box and Libeth Castro hit a perfectly placed header that beat Alondra Ubaldo. From then it was all Toluca, and they’d capitalize just before the halftime whistle blew when Mariel Román got a pass about 25 yards out in front of goal. Her first touch looked a little heavy but it was able to get her separation from the Necaxa defenders. She ran out over the ball and fired a shot that goalkeeper Balbina Treviño was late to react to. In the 88th minute, Román would get her second goal when Laura Parra floated a cross into the box. Treviño started to come out to punch the ball but retreated back toward her line. Román got her head onto it and knocked it past Treviño’s diving attempt to stop it. The win sees Toluca stay in the Liguilla zone in eighth place with 24 points while Necaxa still has just two points on the season.
¿Te lo perdiste?— Toluca FC Femenil (@TolucaFemenil) October 19, 2019
Mira el resumen de nuestra remontada infernal en Aguascalientes. pic.twitter.com/1hPwgGLO2y
Monterrey 2, Cruz Azul 0: Credit has to be given to Cruz Azul for giving a Monterrey team that has largely been unbeatable a solid run for their money. Both teams had decent chances throughout the first half, and in the second half Monterrey would be awarded a penalty. Mariana Cadena stepped up and took the shot, but it was well saved by goalkeeper Karla Morales. Cadena got to the rebound, but Morales was there again to stop the shot. Monterrey would finally break through in the 75th minute when Rayadas hit Cruz Azul on the counterattack. Diana Evangelista was played through and made a fantastic run, cutting and slashing past the defense to unleash a shot inside of the box that beat goalkeeper Karla Morales. Monterrey would get an insurance goal in the 87th when Aylin Aviléz hit an olímpico corner kick. Rayadas are 12W 0D 2L and sit atop the table while Cruz Azul are four points behind Toluca for the final Liguilla spot.
Atlas 1, Guadalajara 1: The Clásico Tapatío did not disappoint. Nicole Pérez got things started off in spectacular fashion, stealing the ball from María Pérez and hitting a shot from distance that sailed up and over goalkeeper Ana Gaby Paz in the first minute of play. Chivas dominated play for most of the first half, but Atlas slowly regained control and in the 57th minute Atlas would equalize. On a quick throw-in, Alison González sprinted down the right side of the pitch and hit a pinpoint pass to an onrushing Adriana Iturbide, and her shot went in off of the underside of the crossbar. As in any good clásico, there was a bit of grit and in the 67th minute Ana Rodríguez and Tania Morales got tangled up. Some shoves and unpleasant words were exchanged, earning both women yellow cards. Both teams pressed for the winning goal, but ultimately neither side was able to pull ahead. Atlas goes into their bye week in fourth place, 11 points behind Rayadas while Chivas is tied on points with Toluca but sits in seventh thanks to a better goal differential.
UNAM Pumas 1, León 0: Pumas continues to trend in the right direction, getting a crucial win at home against León. Pumas came out attacking, forcing goalkeeper Maricruz González to make several saves in the first half to keep the teams even. Pumas would keep the pressure on, and it would pay off in the 60th minute when a free kick from just inside the halfway line rwas headed by León forward Yamile Franco. Things got chippy afterwards, with León picking up several yellow cards and coach Marco Casillas being shown a red card in the 70th minute. While there was more chippiness throughout the remainder of the game, Pumas was able to hold on and help them make up some ground in the Liguilla race. Pumas is still mathematically in it, six points behind Toluca while León is eight points behind Toluca in 14th place.
Morelia 2, Querétaro 0: Monarcas also did their Liguilla ambitions a favor, defeating a slumping Querétaro 2-0 at Estadio Morelos. Morelia got on the board first in the first minute of play when Liz Rodríguez hit a free kick from just beyond the halfway line. It may have been headed by a Querétaro defender or simply taken a funny bounce, but either way it was misplayed by goalkeeper Ivette Alvarado, resulting in a goal. A scary scene in the 27th minute when Daniela Aburto and a teammate both went to head a ball and clashed heads. Aburto remained motionless on the pitch for a couple of minutes before being helped off and subbed out. Rodríguez would get her second goal of the match in the 59th minute when Alejandra Calderón threaded in a great pass to the center of the box. Rodríguez was unmarked, and was able to take a touch and knock it home. Monarcas is in ninth place, three back of Toluca while Querétaro is seven points out of a Liguilla spot with just 17 points.
Veracruz 0, Tigres UANL 2: Tigres continued their good run of form, downing Veracruz on the road. Off of a Liliana Mercado corner kick, Veracruz defender Isela Osorio headed the ball past her own goalkeeper to give Tigres the lead in the 10th minute. Eight minutes later, Jacqui Ovalle was able to get on the end of a ball in from Nayeli Rangel and hit it off of the bounce past goalkeeper María Ayala. Tigres stays in second place, five points behind Monterrey while Veracruz is now 13 points out of a Liguilla spot.
Santos Laguna 0, América 1: A fairly even game and a testament on how far Santos Laguna has come in this tournament. América thought they had a goal in the 20th minute but it was ruled offside. Both goalkeepers had work to do, and both Wendy Toledo and Jaidy Gutiérrez kept their teams in the match by making some impressive saves throughout the match. In the 78th minute however América was able to hit Santos on the counter, when Alexia Villanueva hit a pass out wide to Dorian Hernández, who then hit a perfectly weighted through ball in to Daniela Espinosa. Espinosa’s shot was true and won the game for Las Águilas. América sits in fifth place, 11 points behind Monterrey while Santos sits in 15th place, nine points behind Toluca for eighth place.
Atlético San Luis 0, Puebla 0: Honors even as Atleti and Puebla play to a scoreless draw. Cintia Monreal got her third shutout of the season as San Luis is 15 points out of a Liguilla spot. Brissa Rangel got her fourth shutout of the season, however Puebla needed a win as they now sit five points behind Toluca.
Tijuana 2, Pachuca 0: The shock result of the week, as Xolos Femenil knocks off a powerful Pachuca side. Pachuca looked to be the stronger team early in the match, but it was Tijuana who was able to get a goal just before the halftime whistle blew when Renae Cuellar got her head on a free kick from distance. In the 70th minute it was Casandra Cuevas who would get the insurance goal, catching the Pachuca defense flat-footed to get onto a great through ball, tipping it up and over goalkeeper Alejandria Godínez. This match was the first time all season Pachuca and Viridiana Salazar have been kept scoreless, earning Xolos goalkeeper Itzel González her third shutout of the season.
Bye week: Juárez
Wednesday, October 23:
Cruz Azul (6W 2D 6L) vs. Querétaro (5W 2D 7L)
Toluca (7W 3D 5L) vs. UNAM Pumas (4W 6D 4L)
Thursday, October 24:
América (7W 4D 3L) vs. Necaxa (0W 2D 12L)
Puebla (5W 4D 6L) vs. Monterrey (12 W 0D 2L)
Tigres UANL (9W 4D 1L) vs. León (4W 4D 6L)
Santos Laguna (4W 3D 7L) vs. Atlético San Luis (2W 3D 10L)
Pachuca (9W 2D 3L) vs. Veracruz (2W 5D 7L)
Chivas (7W 3D 4L) vs. Morelia (6W 3D 5L)
Juárez (1W 3D 10L) vs. Tijuana (7W 4D 3L)
Bye week: Atlas (6W 7D 2L)