With the Mexico Women’s National Team finishing their Olympic Qualifying run, this was the last week teams would be without star players. The teams that perhaps aren’t as strong had one last opportunity to pick up points against weakened opponents, and perhaps more importantly some players had one last chance to put forward a good performance to make their coaches’ jobs harder when players returned from international duty.
Necaxa 1, Tigres UANL 4: A dominant performance by Tigres on the road against Necaxa. Dallas native Miah Zuazua got her second goal of the season in the ninth minute when she was on the receiving end of a great through ball from Katty Martínez. Zuazua ran through the defense, drew out goalkeeper Doris Meza, and beat her with a shot. Necaxa would equalize in the 18th minute however when Dulce Alvarado beat defender Vanessa Flores to a ball and hit a high arcing shot over goalkeeper Ofelia Solís, who had come far off of her line. From then on Necaxa would be their worst enemy, committing two penalties before the end of the first half. The first would be converted by Martínez in the 29th and the second by Greta Espinoza in the 41st. These goals would bookend a goal that saw the Necaxa defense fall asleep at the wheel and allow Martínez to jet down the left flank and shoot one that Meza didn’t get to in time.
FC Juárez 1, Cruz Azul 1: Cruz Azul was able to play spoiler, grabbing a point on the road thanks to a stoppage time goal. Cruz Azul outplayed Juárez in the first half, but several good stops by goalkeeper Stefani Jiménez kept the home side from conceding. This would allow the home team to take the lead in the 54th minute when good build-up play on the left saw Atzimba Casas played through and she hit a shot to the far post that beat Karla Morales. Both teams had good opportunities throughout the rest of the half, but Cruz Azul would finally capitalize in the dying moments of the match. They pressured Juárez in their own end and created a turnover that was played back in to Abigail de Jesús, who turned and fired no-look into the back of the net.
América 4, Querétaro 1: A strong showing by América, who remain at the top of the table thanks to the 4-1 thrashing they handed out to Querétaro. Destinney Duron started América out with a brace, getting a goal off of a rebound in the area in the sixth minute and then redirecting a ball in from Marlyn Campa in the 36th. Jana Gutiérrez added a third goal in the 43rd when she redirected a header off of a corner kick past goalkeeper Ivette Alvarado. Sofia Alvarez pulled one back for Querétaro in the 61st when she made a lung-busting run down the right and hit a shot past América goalkeeper Heidi González, but it was too little, too late. Montserrat Hernández tacked on an insurance goal in the 73rd when she was the beneficiary of a great run by Karen Maprigat, who was able to evade what seemed like the entire defense before slipping it to Hernández for a close range shot that beat Alvarado.
Atlas 2, Tijuana 2: An opportunity lost for Atlas is one gained by Tijuana, as they battled back from a two goal deficit to get a point on the road. After a rather drab first half, the game would immediately come to life in the 49th minute when Mayra Santana hit a centering pass to Alexa Curiel. Curiel took a touch and then hit an effortless flick into the back of the net from about 20 yards out. Santana would get one of her own in the 65th when she scored a header off of a free kick straight off of the training field. Xolos Femenil would come roaring back though. In the 71st, a defensive mistake by Karla García allowed Inglis Hernández to get to a ball in the box. Goalkeeper Ana Gaby Paz came out to challenge her, but Hernández deftly touched the ball out to the right to the onrushing Esmeralda Verdugo. Verdugo’s shot went up and over García to draw Tijuana within one. Then just six minutes later Tijuana broke down field and started shooting. Atlas defenders were able to block two shots in a row before the ball came to Rosa Aguilar, who was able to hit a shot that missed Atlas defenders and sneak past Paz to tie the match. Also notable from the match was the return of Veronica Pérez, who missed the last six months with a knee injury.
Monterrey 2, León 3: León isn’t a team who is normally mentioned in the top tier of Liga MX Femenil with Tigres, Monterrey, and América. That could change as they become the first team to beat Rayadas at home since Tigres did it in March of 2019, winning a tough match by a score of 3-2 at El Barrial. Diana García put the visitors up in the fourth minute when she was played in on a great ball from Yamile Franco and hit a shot past Claudia Lozoya. Rayadas would answer in the 15th when goalkeeper Maricruz González gave up a rebound on a shot and Jazmin Aguas was in the right place at the right time to get the tap-in goal. Claudia Cid would put the visitors up again in the 23rd when she got on the end of a free kick and put a touch on it to go up and over Lozoya. Four minutes later, Franco got what turned out to be the game winner when she hit a beautiful free kick that sliced through the wall and evaded a diving Lozoya’s touch to make it 3-1. Desireé Monsiváis would draw one back in the 37th when she knocked in the rebound on a saved penalty attempt. Rayadas continued trying to mount a comeback, but León was able to hang on despite seeing Guadalupe Sánchez sent off in the 73rd after she took down Daniela Solís before the players got up and exchanged shoves. This was just Monterrey’s fifth loss at home all time in league play, with three coming against Tigres and the other coming against León, who beat them 1-0 back on October 29, 2018.
Toluca 0, Puebla 1: Puebla takes a step back in the right direction after losing two straight by going on the road and beating Toluca 1-0. A rare mistake in the 39th minute by goalkeeper Alondra Ubaldo saw the ball go to Andrea Ortega, who managed to get a shot off before receiving a hard tackle from Yamanic Martínez. Toluca wasn’t able to threaten much throughout the remainder of the match, and will look to next week’s match against Querétaro to try and get some momentum going into the rest of the season. Puebla meanwhile are currently sitting in seventh place and should be counted among one of the biggest surprises of the season so far.
Pachuca 1, UNAM Pumas 1: Pumas continues their return to form as they get a draw on the road against a good Pachuca side. Viridiana Salazar got her fourth goal of the season in the 24th minute when she got to a brilliant through ball from Blanky Serrano that split the Pumas defense. Salazar took a touch and then hit a shot over goalkeeper Melany Villeda. Pumas battled back though and their hard work paid off in the 72nd minute when Liliana Rodríguez hit a shot from 30 yards out that beat Alejandría Godínez top shelf to tie the match at one each. The game was marred however by a collision between Pumas’ Dania Padilla and Pachuca’s Karen Díaz which left Padilla out for at least two weeks with a concussion and Díaz out indefinitely with facial fractures.
Atlético San Luis 1, Monarcas Morelia 3: Morelia keeps getting crucial points, this time getting a win on the road at San Luis. Alejandra Calderón put Monarcas up in the sixth minute when Dalia Molina was played through on a brilliant ball, drawing out goalkeeper Cintia Monreal. Molina played a ball out wide to Calderón, who hit it into an empty net. Atleti would equalize in the 12th when a turnover by the Monarcas defense allowed Nayeli Munguía to get the ball, take a dribble down the right side of the box, and flick a ball into the goal off of the underside of the crossbar at the far post. Karla Jiménez would put Morelia up for good when she was left unmarked at the spot and hit a one-time shot in the 17th minute. Jiménez would add one more in the 49th when she was the recipient of a brilliant, no-look backheel pass from Molina out on the left side of the box. Jiménez would finish her chance, and thus finish off San Luis.
Santos Laguna 1, Guadalajara 1: Just the performance Santos needed, drawing a very good Chivas 1-1 at TSM. Rubí Soto scored her second goal of the season and third goal all-time against Santos in the 24th minute when she capitalized on a poor defensive effort from Arlett Tovar to get the ball in the box and hit a shot past Diana Sánchez. Santos would get one back shortly thereafter when Cinthya Peraza hit a through ball out to the right side that was gathered up by right back Esmeralda Zamarron. Zamarron made a great run and hit a shot past Blanca Félix for her first goal of her career, which was all the sweeter coming against her former club.
Friday, February 14:
Cruz Azul (1W 3D 2L) vs. Santos Laguna (0W 2D 4L) - TUDN (4:45 PM Eastern / 1:45 PM Pacific)
Querétaro (0W 1D 5L) vs. Necaxa (2W 2D 2L)
Saturday, February 15:
Atlas (4W 1D 1L) vs. FC Juárez (1W 2D 3L)
Sunday, February 16:
Puebla (3W 1D 2L) vs. Atlético San Luis (2W 1D 3L)
Monday, February 17:
Monarcas Morelia (3W 1D 2L) vs. América (4W 2D 0L)
Toluca (1W 1D 4L) vs. Monterrey (3W 1D 1L)
Tigres UANL (4W 1D 0L) vs. Pachuca (3W 1D 2L)
Tijuana (2W 1D 3L) vs. Guadalajara (2W 3D 1L)
León (2W 1D 3L) vs. UNAM Pumas (2W 3D 1L)