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2020 Liga MX Femenil Clausura recap - Week 1

After a short break that seemed like an eternity, Liga MX Femenil is back.

Atlas FC

It was less than a month from the time Rayadas lifted the Liga MX Femenil trophy to the time Pumas and Puebla kicked off to start the 2020 Clausura but a lot has changed. Some new faces, some familiar faces in new uniforms, some new coaches, and one less team means the new season has endless possibilities. Our friends at FutMexNation put together an invaluable transfer tracker to give context to some of the moves so you can get reacquainted with your favorite team.

UNAM Pumas 0, Puebla 3: New season, same Pumas, same results as Club Universidad Nacional loses to an improved Puebla side 3-0. Mirelle Arciniega got a goal in the ninth minute when she drifted out wide all alone, was picked out by Mariam Castro, and hit a shot that goalkeeper Melany Villeda had no chance at stopping. In the 20th minute, a corner kick into the area was poorly defended and Andrea Ortega was in the right place at the right time to knock the ball into the empty net. Pumas wasn’t able to get a shot on goal until the 29th minute, and that one was easily stopped by Brissa Rangel. In the second half, it was more of the same and Arciniega got her brace in the 78th when she hit a beautiful shot from long-distance that arced up and over Villeda. Pumas hasn’t won in their last five games dating back to October 19.

América 3, FC Juárez 0: América started off the season in dominant fashion, downing Juárez 3-0. Estefania Fuentes was able to get her head onto a corner kick in the 20th minute to give Las Águilas their first lead of the year. Juárez would push back, forcing goalkeeper Renata Masciarelli to make a series of fantastic saves to keep the visitors off of the scoreboard. Daniela Espinosa extended the lead in the 58th when she was able to beat goalkeeper Silvia Machuca to a cross from Dorian Hernández. América would round out the scoring in the 78th minute when Jana Gutiérrez made a great run down the right before hitting a shot from close range that beat Machuca.

Necaxa 0, Atlas 3: Atlas also laid their claim for top team in the league with a 3-0 win over Necaxa. Las Centellas were able hold their visitors scoreless through the first half, but it was Mexico U17 National Team forward Alison González who broke the deadlock in the 46th minute. Adriana Iturbide drove in and drew out goalkeeper Daniela Muñoz before hitting a cross to González, who headed it into the open net. González has been on fire, scoring seven goals in three preseason games and will look to increase on her eight goal season last year, a career best. In the 63rd minute, Fabiola Ibarra made a deft touch on the ball with her right foot to control a pass and then hit a rocket off of her dominant left that Muñoz got her hands to but couldn’t keep out of the net. Deep in stoppage time, a defensive lapse saw Joana Robles able to get on to a great ball from Marcia García Ramírez and knock it in.

Monarcas Morelia 2, Toluca 0: Monarcas starting their season off on a good note downing a good Toluca team 2-0 at home. Toluca announced shortly before the game that head coach Agustín Contreras didn’t travel with the team due to health reasons and Cesar Arzate would instead be managing the match. Morelia would get on the board first when off of a corner kick Toluca’s Karen Becerril hauled down Maria Cruzaley in the box. Cruzaley stepped up and hit the penalty to put her club up before the break. In the 68th minute, Daniela Gómez ran down Dalia Molina from behind and knocked her over in the box drawing another penalty. Michell Guerrero would convert the penalty to get her first Liga MX Femenil goal and complete the scoring on the day.

Pachuca 3, León 1: Another match that the final score may belie how close the game was. León played well early in the match but would give one up in the 39th when Lizbeth Ángeles played a great ball forward to Viridiana Salazar out on the left. Salazar went in on goal, drawing the defense before calmly slotting the ball over to an onrushing Paola López for a tap-in. Salazar would get one of her own in the 69th minute when she got her head onto a corner kick, beating a diving Maricruz González. In the 77th Ángeles played another fantastic ball through to Salazar. Salazar got within inches of González before hitting a square ball for Karla Nieto to knock home. León would get a bit of hope in the 85th when Montserrat Martinez played a ball over the top for Diana García. It caught the Pachuca defense napping, and García was able to get an easy goal, but it was all that León would be able to muster on the night. Something that should not be lost on the night was how patient Salazar was with the ball. It would have been very easy to try and score on every opportunity but her getting two assists shows great growth as a player.

Club Atlético de San Luis 3, Santos Laguna 1: Atleti had a good showing in front of almost 3500 fans for their home opener in San Luis Potosí. Estefania Izaguirre had a brace, getting her first in the 26th minute and her second in the 85th with an arcing shot from inside of the box. Santos drew level in the 64th when Aylin Hernández tackled Olga Trasviña from behind in the box and Cinthya Peraza converted the penalty. Daniela Carrandi broke the deadlock in the 81st when she got on a free kick and knocked it in past Wendy Toledo. The loss comes on Santos’ first game under new head coach Martín Pérez.

Guadalajara 2, Cruz Azul 2: A good match between two teams that have a ton of potential this season. Cruz Azul got on the board first when Wendy Jiménez converted a penalty in the seventh minute of play. Chivas would equalize under controversial circumstances in the 33rd minute when Evelyn González and goalkeeper Karla Morales collided hard while going up for a ball. While both players fell to the ground, experienced midfielder Tania Morales walked the ball over the line. Cruz Azul players protests to referee Jaime Montes were ignored and the goal stood. González would get one of her own immediately after the half when she was able to get a nifty touch on a header into the box. The lead would last less than a minute however when Alejandra Curiel was played in on goal, chipping one over goalkeeper Blanca Félix to draw the sides level.

Club Tijuana 3, Querétaro 0: It was the Renae Cuéllar show on La Frontera Norte, as the Mexican-American scored a hat trick to lead Xolos Femenil over Querétaro. Cuéllar got her first of the season in the 19th minute with a shot from just outside of the box that 17 year old goalkeeper Ivette Alvarado mis-played. In the 31st she got on the end of a great cross into the box, putting a great touch onto the ball that caught Alvarado going the wrong way. In the 38th, Cuéllar would complete the hat trick when she was played through from the central midfield, splitting two defenders and drawing Alvarado off of her line.

Monterrey vs. Tigres UANL: While technically a Week 1 matchup the teams will instead face off on April 13, having just competed against one another in the Liga MX Final back on December 7.

Next week:

Friday, January 10:

Cruz Azul (0W 1D 0L) vs. América (1W 0D 0L) - TUDN (5:00 PM Eastern/2:00 PM Pacific)

FC Juárez (0W 0D 1L) vs. Guadalajara (0W 1D 0L) - TUDNXTRA 2 (9:00 PM Eastern/6:00 Pacific)

Saturday, January 11:

Atlas (1W 0D 0L) vs. Monarcas Morelia (1W 0D 0L)

Sunday, January 12:

Puebla (1W 0D 0L) vs. Querétaro (0W 0D 1L)

Monday, January 13:

Toluca (0W 0D 1L) vs. Club Tijuana (1W 0D 0L) - TUDN (6:00 PM Eastern/3:00 PM Pacific)

León (0W 0D 1L) vs. Tigres UANL (0W 0D 0L)

Club Atlético de San Luis (1W 0D 0L) vs. UNAM Pumas (0W 0D 1L)

Monterrey (0W 0D 0L) vs. Pachuca (1W 0D 0L)

Santos Laguna (0W 0D 1L) vs. Necaxa (0W 0D 1L)