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Liga MX Femenil recap - 2019 Apertura Semifinals

While América and Pachuca fought valiantly, it will be another Clásico Regio for the Liga MX Femenil Final.

Tigres UANL v Monterrey - Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Javier Figueroa/Jam Media/Getty Images

It’s another Clásico Regiomontano for the Liga MX Femenil final, and in all honesty these two teams were the best of the bunch for most of the season. Puebla and América fought valiantly, but in the end the two best teams in the league will face off once more for the trophy.

(1) Monterrey 4, (4) América 3: The first match in Mexico City ended in a 2-2 draw. América jumped out to the lead in the ninth minute of the first leg when Marcela Valera went up and got her head onto a corner kick, knocking it past Claudia Lozoya. América would get a second in the 53rd minute when Daniela Espinosa put a header off of a free kick past Lozoya. In the 72nd minute, a shot by Alicia Cervantes was handled in the box by Valrea, and a penalty was awarded to Rayadas. Rebeca Bernal hit her shot true and beat Jaidy Gutiérrez to draw Monterrey within one. Then as the clock neared 90’ it was Aylin Aviléz staying onside for a pass from Bernal and hitting a shot that deflected off of a sliding Valera and went up and over Gutiérrez to tie the match before heading back to Monterrey.

In the return leg, Rayadas had all of the momentum in their building. Valeria Valdez put Monterrey up in the 12th minute when off of a corner kick the ball was headed out toward the edge of the box. Valdez hit a beautiful volley that skipped through traffic and into the back of the net. Minutes later disaster struck as Gutiérrez went up to punch out a ball and it wound up going into her own net. Immediately after the start of the second half, Espinosa and Lucero Cuevas played a nice give-and-go that Cuevas finished. América would press for the tying goal, but Rayadas held strong.

(2) Tigres 5, (3) Pachuca 3: The series may have looked over before it made it back to El Volcán but never count out Tigres, especially with a squad this talented, Fernanda Elizondo put Tigres up in the 12th minute of the first leg when Liliana Mercado hit a cross into the box. Elizondo got her head onto it, changing the trajectory enough that it caught goalkeeper Alejandría Godínez off balance. Both teams had some decent chances throughout the rest of the first half, but nothing was converted. In the second half, Pachuca got themselves together and in the 53rd minute scored a fantastic team goal. Paola López hit a cross from the right wing that Lizbeth Ángeles got a foot on to redirect toward Viridiana Salazar. Viri dummied the ball and it went to a wide open Mónica Ocampo, who buried the ball into the back of the net. Five minutes later, Ángeles stripped the ball off of the foot of Cristina Ferral and hit a shot that beat goalkeeper Ofelia Solís to give the hosts the lead. Pachuca kept pressing and in the 82nd would be rewarded when a pass in to Salazar was sent over to Ángeles, who got her second goal of the evening. Pachuca was playing confident soccer and were the deserved winners of the first leg.

There was a second leg to go however, and El Volcán is never an easy place to get a road result. Tigres came out and were all business. Katty Martínez scored the first of the evening in the 23rd minute. Jackie Ovalle sent a free kick into the box that Paola López tried heading out of the box. Fer Elizondo hit a chilena (bicycle kick) but it wasn’t on target, and Martínez redirected it past Godínez. There was a scary moment in the 35th minute when Elizondo was hit in the head and was reportedly disoriented. She took a cart ride off of the field, was subbed out of the game, and went to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a concussion. It looked like Pachuca would make it to halftime having just conceded the one goal, but deep into stoppage Ovalle sent a corner kick in and Nayeli Rangel got her head onto it to give Tigres the equalizer. After the break Tigres scored off of another Jackie Ovalle free kick when Pachuca defender Delfina Santellan headed the ball past her own goalkeeper. It looked for a time like Pachuca would get one back to tie things up on aggregate but in the 80th minute when Rangel sent a ball into the box for Katty Martínez. Goalkeeper Godínez raced off of her line but Martínez beat her to it, shooting it into Godínez, collecting her rebound and poking it past the outstretched arm of the prone goalkeeper before firing it into the top of the net to seal the win.

Liga MX Femenil Final:

Friday, November 29:

Tigres UANL vs. Monterrey - 10:05 PM Eastern, 9:05 PM Central, 7:05 PM Pacific on TUDN (United States and Mexico)

TBD:

Monterrey vs. Tigres UANL