Game: Club de Fútbol Tigres de la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León Femenil vs. Club de Fútbol Monterrey Femenil
Date: Friday, November 29th
Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Universitario (San Nicolás de la Garza, N.L.)
Referees: REF: Priscila Eritzel Pérez Borja, AR1: Sandra Elizabeth Ramirez Aleman, AR2: Damaris Saray Jiménez Díaz, 4TH: Katia Itzel García Mendoza
The two biggest teams in women’s soccer in Mexico face off at the historic El Volcán for the title for the third time as Tigres UANL hosts Monterrey in the first leg of the 2019 Apertura Final. Tigres won the previous two finals against their cross-town rivals, sewing stars onto their jerseys after downing Rayadas in the 2018 Clausura and 2019 Clausura Finals.
Tigres was the second place team in league play this season with a record of 13W 4D 1L, but one of those 13 wins was against Monterrey. In Week 8 they beat Rayadas at El Volcán 3-2 in a fantastic match. They beat an upstart Tijuana team 3-0 on aggregate in the quarterfinal round and a very tough Pachuca side 5-3 in the semifinal round to get to the final.
Tigres has no real weaknesses. They play patient soccer, showing confidence in the abilities of goalkeeper Ofelia Solís and the defense in front of her. They allowed a league-low 14 goals in 18 games, and Solís lead the team to six shutouts in her twelve regular season appearances.
The defense isn’t their only strength, as the have a potent counterattack. Their offense lead by center forward Katty Martínez and left side inside forward Jackie Ovalle. 21 year old Martínez had 10 goals on the season and 20 year old Ovalle had eight, with the latter being linked to an offseason move to the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in the United States.
Rayadas was the superlíder (first place team) in league play with a record of 16W 0D 2L. They edged out a tough Atlas side 1-0 on aggregate in the semifinal round before beating another powerhouse in América 4-3 on aggregate in the quarterfinal round.
I say this without hyperbole or hesitation: Rayadas is one of the best women’s soccer teams on the planet. They set records in Liga MX Femenil for most points (48), wins (16), and goals (52) as well as going unbeaten at home. Their defense conceded just 16 goals (second only to Tigres) for a mind-blowing +36 goal differential over a season that is only eighteen games.
Rayadas also boasts the league’s co-leading goalscorer in Desirée Monsiváis. The 31 year old center forward scored 17 on the season. Rayadas also got nine goals from 25 year old right winger Diana Evangelista and out of their starting lineup from the last match against América, the only position players not to score a goal this season were right back Ricla Rajunov and center back Mariana Cadena.
There aren’t many ways to describe how good this game will be that don’t descend into cliches. These are two of the best women’s teams in the world, and this game could very well sell out the 41,886 seat El Volcán to create an electric atmosphere. Both teams may come out a bit conservative knowing it’s a two-leg aggregate, but both of these teams can score goals and when the first one goes in expect the game to open up.