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Liga MX Femenil recap: 2021 Apertura, Week 12

A Clásico Nacional (or two?) and a game without a winner highlight another full week of women’s soccer in Mexico.

Casandra Montero (L) of Chivas fights for the ball with Angelica Palacios (R) of America during a match between Chivas and America as part of the Torneo Apertura 2021 Liga BBVA MX at Akron Stadium on October 11, 2021 in Zapopan, Mexico.
Casandra Montero (L) of Chivas fights for the ball with Angelica Palacios (R) of America during a match between Chivas and America as part of the Torneo Apertura 2021 Liga BBVA MX at Akron Stadium on October 11, 2021 in Zapopan, Mexico.
Photo by Alfredo Moya/Jam Media/Getty Images

There’s never a dull moment in Liga MX Femenil. Twelve weeks into the season, we have our first team to clinch a Liguilla berth as Tigres remain perfect by beating archrivals Rayadas. Chivas also beat their archrival América at home, Mazatlán finally won, and we’re still not fully sure who won the Toluca-Santos match.

Mazatlán FC 1, Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 0: Las Cañoneras pick up their first win of the season, downing Querétaro 1-0 in Mazatlán. Alma Verania López was the hero for Mazatlán, getting to a loose ball about 12 yards out and curling it into the top corner as the clock went past the 90 minute mark. Querétaro goalkeeper Vanessa Córdoba played a fantastic game despite coming out on the wrong end of the score line, making several saves to keep Querétaro in the match. Nikol Ramos and the Mazatlán defense got their first shutout of the season, the team’s second in three weeks (Mariana Zárraga was in goal for the 0-0 draw against Club América).

Atlas 1, Necaxa 0: Another match that went down to the wire, with Atlas pulling one out at the last minute against Necaxa. In the fifth minute of stoppage Ana Garcia hit a cross inside of the box that found the head of Fer Limón, and goalkeeper Lupita Olvera had no chance against the wide open net. Limón was mobbed dogpiled by teammates as Atlas pick up their third win in a row, going unbeaten in their last five.

Cruz Azul 0, León 0: Marta Cox hit a long range shot off of the crossbar in the 10th minute in what would have been a spectacular goal had it been inches lower. Off of a corner in the 20th minute it was Cruz Azul who was agonizingly close, with a nudge off of the shoulder from Claudia Cid being cleared off of the line by Daniela Calderón. Marta Cox had a goal in the 57th that was ruled offside, and replays confirmed it was off by the slimmest of margins. Martha Enciso had a good chance in the 89th minute but her bouncing shot went just wide of the far post.

Toluca 1, Santos Laguna 0: Santos finally met their match (or did they?) against a tough Toluca team at Estadio Nemesio Díez on Saturday. Nicole Buenfil did well to stone Diana Guatemala on a breakaway in the seventh minute, but wasn’t so lucky in the 20th when Guatemala hit a wonderful curling ball from 25 yards out into the top corner of the net. In the 44th it looked like Mariel Román doubled the lead but the goal was nullified due to Román being offside. Karen Becerril had a shot skim the outside netting in the 54th minute of play, Neither team really threatened much after that, and the game ended 1-0 for Toluca, however the following day the FMF began an investigation to see whether Toluca had made their four substitutions in four separate windows, which is one more than is allowed. This would result in Santos technically winning the match by a 3-0 forfeit. As of this writing, it is still pending.

Tigres UANL 2, Monterrey 1: Tigres remain perfect on the year and clinch a Liguilla spot in perhaps the stiffest test they’ll face, beating Rayadas 2-1 in El Volcán. The game was a thriller, however it was marred by reports of homophobic and racist chants from fans in attendance. Nayeli Rangel put Tigres up in the fifth minute, making an outstanding play to bring the ball down, turn, and fire past Alex Godínez. Rebeca Bernal equalized in the 26th minute, getting a shot from Mónica Flores off of a corner kick and firing it in past Ceci Santiago. Tigres got the game winner in the 56th minute when an olímpico attempt off of a corner kick was hit into the crossbar by Godínez, but Greta Espinoza was there to knock the rebound into the net.

Club Atlético de San Luis 4, FC Juárez 0: A convincing win by San Luis over Bravas. Emily González put San Luis up in the 16th minute with a header in the box that ricocheted off of goalkeeper Diana García and into the net. Ana Karen López doubled the lead in the 55th on a header off of a corner kick, and then ten minutes later it was Beatriz Parra capitalizing on a pretty horrific mistake by García to tack on another goal. Then Sharon Barba added her first goal in over two years in the 89th to complete the rout.

Pachuca 1, UNAM Pumas 1: Pumas hangs on to the eighth and final Liguilla spot, drawing Pachuca on the road. Deneva Cagigas’ first goal of the season put Pumas up in the sixth minute, taking advantage of too much space and time to put a rebound of a corner kick past Esthefanny Barreras. Mónica Ocampo was robbed of a goal by a fantastic clearance by Dirce Delgado in the 27th minute. Pachuca looked to have equalized in the 44th minute on a Viridiana Salazar goal, but it was ruled offside. A VAR review might have upheld the goal. Salazar got a pass over the top deep in stoppage before the end of the first half, heading it up and over Melany Villeda to draw the sides level before they went into the locker rooms. Lucero Cuevas had a strong shot in the 60th that Villeda made a fine save on, and in the 69th Karla Nieto smashed a shot from distance off of the crossbar. Barreras made a nice save on a point-blank range shot from Fabiola Santamaria in the 79th minute, and just before regulation expired Nieto was denied by the woodwork once more, hitting a shot off of the far post.

Guadalajara 2, América 1: A pretty intense Clásico Nacional Femenil, as Chivas bests América 2-1 at Estadio Akron. Chivas dominated large swaths of the match, and Renata Masciarelli did a lot of the heavy lifting to keep América in the match. Masciarelli made several good saves and was eventually rewarded in the 78th minute when Natalia Mauleon was able to get to a ball the Chivas defense couldn’t clear out of the box and rifled it in past Celeste Espino. The lead lasted exactly two minutes however, thanks to a brilliant pass over the top from Casandra Montero to Licha Cervantes. Cervantes beat Masciarelli one-on-one with a shot into the top of the net to draw the sides level. Then in the 89th it was Damaris Godínez (who had a great game) hitting a shot off of the crossbar that Masciarelli tipped, but the rebound went to Cervantes, who headed the ball into the net off of the turf to seal the win.

Club Tijuana 2, Puebla F.C. 0: Renae Cuéllar’s third multi-goal game of the season leads Xolos Femenil past Puebla F.C. Cuéllar got a great pass from Angelina Hix in the sixth minute and hit a volley past Brissa Rangel to give Tijuana the lead. Cuéllar got the brace in the 79th by converting a penalty as Tijuana remains in seventh place but creates some separation between them and Pumas and Cruz Azul in the Liguilla race.

Sub 17 results

UNAM Pumas 0, América 0

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 1, Pachuca 2

Santos Laguna 1, Tigres UANL 3

Atlas 1, Club Tijuana 0

Mazatlán FC 0, Necaxa 0

Club Atlético de San Luis 1, Guadalajara 4

Notes and other things

There was a bit of a to-do last week about the Clásico Nacional Femenil; around exactly who plays in the Clásico Nacional Femenil. While the Clásico Nacional for the men is between Chivas and América, there’s been arguments made that the Femenil version is between Tigres and Monterrey. And while yes, they’re the two teams that hold a duopoly over Finals wins and appearances, there’s still something regional about the match. Tigres and Rayadas fans travel well, but not nearly as well as América and Chivas fans, especially to non-rivalry matches.

The fact that these arguments have been so passionate however speaks to how invested people are in Liga MX Femenil. These conversations keep people talking about the league and the clubs and the players, and that’s a good thing.

The 2021 Ballon d’Or nominees were released, and to literally no one’s surprise there were zero players from Africa or Asia and just one from Latin America. Praise should be given to Christiane Endler, but it’s quite telling that players like Barbara Banda and Loza Abera aren’t on the list.

The Reckoning (as it’s come to be known) has prompted swift action by the Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF) after former coach Kenneth Zseremeta was accused by 24 players of sexual abuse and harassment. The FVF requested that FIFA, CONMEBOL, and CONCACAF (Zseremeta coached the Panamanian Women’s National Team until May 2021) open investigations into his conduct.

After seven years, women’s soccer is back in the Indian state of Kerala, home to over 34 million people. The winning team will directly qualify for the Indian Women’s League, which is the top flight in India.

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Next week (all records are in W-D-L format, all times as listed):

Friday, October 15:

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro (2-4-6) vs. Toluca (3-3-6*) - 5:00 PM - TVC Deportes (Mexico)

Guadalajara (9-1-2) vs. Tigres UANL (12-0-0) - 9:05 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)

Saturday, October 16:

Tigres UANL U17 (1-0-0) vs. Necaxa U17 (0-1-0) - 9:00 AM

Cruz Azul (4-3-5) vs. Mazatlán FC (1-3-8) - 12:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

Santos Laguna U17 (0-0-1) vs. Mazatlán FC U17 (0-1-0) - 3:45 PM

León U17 (1-0-0) vs. Club Atlético de San Luis U17 (0-0-2) - 3:45 PM

Guadalajara U17 (1-0-1) vs. Club Tijuana U17 (0-0-1) - 3:45 PM

Necaxa (4-2-6) vs. Monterrey (9-2-1) - 7:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)

Sunday, October 17:

Pachuca U17 (1-0-0) vs. UNAM Pumas U17 (0-1-0) - 11:00 AM

América U17 (0-1-0) vs. Gallos Blancos de Querétaro U17 (0-0-1) - 11:00 AM

Puebla F.C. (3-1-8) vs. Club Atlético de San Luis (2-4-6) - 12:00 PM - TVC Deportes (Mexico)

América (7-3-2) vs. Club Tijuana (5-3-4) - 3:45 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

León (2-4-6) vs. Atlas (6-3-3) - 7:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)

Monday, October 18:

Santos Laguna (7-3-2*) vs. UNAM Pumas (3-6-3) - 5:00 PM - Facebook

FC Juárez (1-2-9) vs. Pachuca (2-5-5) - 9:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)

* pending outcome of the league investigation