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Liga MX Femenil recap: 2021 Clausura, Week 3

Some heart-stoppers in with some real statement games.

Atlas v Tigres UANL - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX Femenil Photo by Oscar Meza/Jam Media/Getty Images

We are down to our final five unbeaten teams, and you’d be lying if you said had Pumas, Chivas, Toluca, Atlas, and Cruz Azul as the last remaining teams. As my friend and colleague Amelia Lopez pointed out in her weekly column, it’s a bizarre sight not seeing a Regio team in the top two positions.

UNAM Pumas 3, Monterrey 0: Pumas with a statement win, dominating Rayadas at home. Rayadas couldn’t get anything going against Pumas’ defense, which has still to concede a goal in 2021. Pumas got goals from Fabiola Santamaria, Laura Herrera, and Marlyn Campa while Melany Villeda made her case for a National Team call up with a fantastic performance against an offense that had scored ten goals in the prior two games. This was Monterrey’s first time being shut out since a 0-0 draw against Juárez in Week 9 of the abbreviated 2020 Clausura.

Cruz Azul 3, Club Atlético de San Luis 1: A dominant performance from Cruz Azul, who are starting the season strong. Alejandra Curiel had a brace and Karime Abud continues her stellar play, scoring a goal and otherwise creating all sorts of havoc on the Atleti back line. Paola Alemán scored a late goal for San Luis but the game was all but over by that point.

FC Juárez 1, Pachuca 1: A good game from both teams, as Pachuca gets its first point under new coach Toña Is. Pachuca capitalized on a perfectly timed through ball from Viri Salazar to Lizbeth Ángeles in the seventh as Ángeles got her first goal of the season. The lead wouldn’t last long as Juárez played a set piece perfectly, creating enough mis-direction on a free kick allowing Gabriela Álvarez to execute it perfectly and equalize. Both teams then had trouble creating pressure on offense and ground out a 1-1 draw.

Mazatlán FC 1, América 1: Mazatlán was mere moments from an upset victory against América, but Dani Espinosa saved the day for Las Águilas, who got an important point on the road against a team that is starting to believe in themselves. Mazatlán took the lead in the first minute on a great goal from Melisa Ramos and was able to park the bus effectively and frustrate América. But the result was a fair one and something both teams should look to build upon.

Toluca 1, Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 0: One of the more pleasant surprises so far has been Toluca, who are one of four teams to get nine points out of all three games played (Pumas, Atlas, and Chivas are the others). Zaira Miranda’s goal in the 79th really was the culmination of a lot of work by Toluca, and Querétaro goalkeeper Dayri Hernández should be credited for not conceding more. Both teams could have been a little more clinical around the goal, but ultimately Toluca was the better side on the day and deserved the three points.

Guadalajara 2, Santos Laguna 0: An emotional game as Santos played their first match after the passing of head coach Martín Pérez from COVID-19. Santos played well, but Chivas was able to capitalize on two of the relatively few mistakes Santos made. Joseline Montoya took advantage of some mis-communication on the back line in the 31st minute to get her second goal of the season, and Annette Vázquez tacked on an insurance goal in the 67th as Chivas remained perfect on the season.

Tigres UANL 2, Puebla F.C. 1: Puebla almost pulled off an upset, but a late goal by Tigres salvaged all of the points for the home side. Katty Martínez got her third goal of the season in the first minute of the game and it looked like the romp would be on but Puebla settled down and equalized in the 13th minute on a Dayana Cazares goal. Puebla seemed to frustrate Tigres at every turn. In the 57th, Martínez had a shot at her second goal of the game but smashed a penalty kick off of the post and out of danger. Blanca Solís would be the hero for Tigres though when she was able to re-direct a header past goalkeeper Brissa Rangel in the 87th for the game winner.

León 2, Necaxa 1: A game that looked destined to end in a draw saw León break out of their funk and pick up a crucial win at home. The game was deadlocked at 0-0 until the 63rd when Sanjuana Muñoz was rewarded for her run into the box with a perfect cross that she knocked in for her first goal of the year. The lead lasted just one minute though as Stephanie Baz was able to capitalize on a free kick to tie the game. Sonia Vázquez however would win the game for León in the 79th when she was able to get onto a free kick and knock it past Daniela Muñoz.

Club Tijuana 0, Atlas 1: This game was a tough, physical game and both teams played well. The match was tied 0-0 in the 89th when a defensive miscue on an Atlas free kick saw Itzel González collide with a teammate, dropping the ball in front of Alison González. “Aligol” scored her 40th goal in an Atlas uniform and Atlas remained a perfect three-for-three on the season. Tijuana can’t be happy with the result, but there were a lot of positives they can take out of a gritty game against a tough opponent.

Next week (all records are in W-D-L format):

Friday, January 29:

Necaxa (0-0-3) vs. Pumas (3-0-0) - Claro Sports (Mexico) - 4:00 PM Central

Saturday, January 30:

Atlas (3-0-0) vs. León (1-1-1) - TVC Deportes (Mexico) - 10:00 AM Central

FC Juárez (0-1-2) vs. Mazatlán FC (1-1-1) - TUDN (US and Mexico) 12:00 PM Central

Sunday, January 31:

Monterrey (2-0-1) vs. Gallos Blancos de Querétaro (1-0-2) - 10:30 AM Central

Puebla F.C. (0-0-2) vs. Cruz Azul (2-1-0) - TVC Deportes (Mexico) - 12:00 PM Central

Club Atlético de San Luis (0-0-3) vs. Club Tijuana (0-0-3) - 5:00 PM Central

Monday, February 1:

América (1-1-1) vs. Toluca (3-0-0) - TUDN (US and Mexico) - 3:45 PM Central

Pachuca (0-1-2) vs. Guadalajara (3-0-0) - FOX Sports (Mexico) - 5:00 PM Central

Santos Laguna (1-0-1) vs. Tigres UANL (2-0-1) - FOX Sports (Mexico) - 7:00 PM Central