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Liga MX Femenil recap: 2021 Apertura, Week 15

With just two weeks left to go, there are four teams still in the hunt for one of the two remaining spots in the Liguilla.

Melany Aylin Villeda goalkeeper of Pumas celebrates during a match between Pumas and Chivas as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico A21 Liga MX Femenil at Estadio Olimpico Universitario on October 2, 2021 in Mexico City, Mexico. Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images

Liga MX Femenil is down to the final two weeks of the 2021 Grita México Apertura tournament, and there are still four teams vying for two available spots. Tijuana and Cruz Azul can both clinch this weekend with a win, while Pachuca and Pumas have to hope at least one of the higher ranked teams doesn’t win one of their remaining matches and they can cover the points and a goal differential to get in. Luckily for Pachuca and Pumas, Tijuana and Cruz Azul face off this week so both can’t clinch a spot, setting up some critical matches on the final day of the season. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Here’s a look back at the week that was in Liga MX Femenil.

Atlas 3, América 2: Atlas is peaking at the right time. They’ve won six straight, downing América 3-2 on Saturday. Adriana “Boyi” Iturbide started things off in the fifth minute, getting on the end of a good pass from Alison González to beat the offside trap and then lobbing one over Renata Masciarelli. The lead was short lived however as a defensive giveaway in the 17th minute allowed a two-on-one that Dani Espinosa was able to sneak past Ana Gaby Paz. Two minutes later, a nice flick on from Sarah Luebbert found Angelique Saldivar and she hit a hard shot in past Paz to give América the lead. But fortunes would change as Luebbert was subbed out in the 30th minute with a reported knee injury and Casandra Cuevas was sent off in the 40th minute for something she said to referee Aldo Ballesteros after she committed a hard foul on Iturbide. Verónica Pérez equalized it in the 53rd with a rocket of a volley from well beyond the box, and then in stoppage Jocelyn Orejel tried to clear a ball in the box and wound up kicking Alison González straight in the knee, conceding the penalty kick. González converted and Atlas moves past América on the table.

Cruz Azul 1, Necaxa 0: Karime Abud’s lone goal in the 21st minute was the difference, as Cruz Azul stays alive in the Liguilla hunt. Necaxa goalkeeper Lupita Olvera had a decent game but needed offensive support that never came. Necaxa should take heart, as they have two games to get two points to tie their all-time record of 16 points in a season.

Guadalajara 0, Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 2: A shock result, but Querétaro has been a good team that’s gotten poor results for most of the season and it’s not entirely surprising they were able to put it all together. Leidy Ramos put Querétaro up in the 23rd minute by getting onto the end of a nice pass from Daniela Sánchez and knocking it past Celeste Espino. Chivas had several good chances to get a goal, none better than in the 36th when Querétaro conceded a penalty kick. Vanessa Córdoba stoned Licha Cervantes’ attempt however, preserving the lead for the visitors. In the 47th, Fátima Servín hit a shot from the top of the box that kissed off of both posts before going in. Chivas are still in fourth and still a lock for the Liguilla, but it’s good seeing Querétaro leaning into the spoiler role and hopefully building momentum for the Clausura.

Club Atlético de San Luis 0, Monterrey 3: Another solid effort by Monterrey, downing San Luis 3-0 on the road. Desirée Monsiváis got her 13th goal of the season in the 11th minute, knocking in a header past Stefani Jiménez. Diana Evangelista doubled the lead in the 23rd when she got onto a nice ball over the top, evaded Jiménez attempting to clear the bouncing ball, and fired an off-balance shot that went in off of a San Luis defender. Monsiváis almost had another with a beautiful volley from outside the box in the 34th minute but Jiménez did well to tip if over the bar. Yamile Franco put an exclamation point on things in the 54th with a rocket of a shot that went into the top corner. Rayadas are pretty well entrenched in the second place spot, unable to be passed by Santos or Chivas and needing to win out and have Tigres lose out in order to pass them.

Toluca 0, León 3: A win would have kept Toluca’s Liguilla hopes alive, but a 3-0 loss at home to León ended that on Monday. The game was fairly even until the 29th minute when Paulina Gómez ripped a volley from the top of the box that beat Sandra Lozano. Toluca had chances to equalize but couldn’t convert, including a shot that hit the post in the 57th and several that forced Ángeles Martínez to make saves. Sabrina Figueroa put it out of reach in the 68th when she beat the fullback and hit a shot into the top of the net, and Dani Calderón added an insurance goal in the 79th when she was in the right place at the right time to knock home a rebound of a shot off of Lozano.

Pachuca 4, Santos Laguna 0: A tough loss for Santos against a Pachuca team desperate to make Liguilla. Pachuca came out swinging, and Lucero Cuevas finally connected in the 21st with a shot from inside the box that beat Nicole Buenfil far post. Cuevas injured herself on the play however and had to be subbed out minutes later. Santos kept it close and almost equalized in the 55th minute when Estela “Paleta” Gómez had a breakaway but pushed her shot wide. Six minutes later Charlyn Corral was left unattended on the left side and hit a nice arcing shot into the far corner. Six minutes after that it was Karen Díaz on the other side of the box getting on a partially cleared corner kick and knocking it in. Viridiana Salazar converted a penalty in the 71st to round out the scoring. Pachuca is away to Atlas and home against Querétaro in their final two matches.

Tigres UANL 2, Pumas UNAM 1: Tigres continue to be the team to beat, coming from behind to down Pumas 2-1 at El Volcán. Luz Duarte put Pumas up in the 30th when Tigres couldn’t clear a pass through the box, and Duarte was able to settle it and launch it into the back of the net for just the sixth goal conceded all season. They held out until the 58th minute when Belén Cruz was the beneficiary of a great holdup play and shot by Jackie Ovalle that was deflected by Melany Villeda into Cruz’ path. Then in the 83rd minute Stephany Mayor made a nice run through the box and hit a shot through traffic and under a diving Villeda to put Tigres up and give them the game and putting them one point from tying their points record on a season (50).

Club Tijuana 5, Mazatlán FC 0: Tijuana has really put together something good on the frontera norte, as Fabiola Vargas’ club continues to rack up points against the teams they should beat. Tijuana were pretty relentless with their pressure, and broke through shortly after the start of the second half when Angelina Hix pinged a ball from the right flank over to Paola Villamizar, who headed it back to Renae Cuéllar, who headed in her first goal of the evening. Two minutes later it was Hix’ turn, breaking through the defense to get to a ball and gently roll it in far post. Cuéllar got the brace in the 69th minute when Hix set her up with another nice ball from the right wing and then got the hat-trick in the 80th on a well-executed counterattack. In the 85th, Annia Mejía’s header off of a corner was deflected in by Ana Gutiérrez for an own goal, rounding out the scoring on the evening.

FC Juárez 1, Puebla F.C. 2: It took just 45 seconds for Puebla to take the lead, with Estefany Hernández hitting a shot from distance that Christina Holguin simply missed. Juárez equalized however in the second minute when a pass over the top bounced on the hard turf and Perla Navarrete got onto the end of it, making a touch to evade Brissa Rangel, and knocked it into the empty net. Jessica Tenorio got the game winner in the 32nd minute when she headed in a rebound of a Hernández shot that Holguin made the initial save on. Hernández looked to have scored again in the 55th, but the goal was rightfully called offside. Puebla has looked decent at times this season, and with a couple of additions could be a Liguilla team next season.


Sub 17 results

Week 5

Guadalajara U17 2, Atlas U17 2

Week 6

Tigres UANL U17 4, Santos Laguna U17 2

Necaxa U17 1, Mazatlán FC U17 0

UNAM Pumas U17 0, Pachuca U17 1

Club Atlético de San Luis U17 1, Club Tijuana U17 1

Atlas U17 2, León U17 3

Querétaro U17 0, Club América U17 1


Notes and other things

A truly wild and horrific story out of France as PSG midfielder Aminata Diallo was arrested for involvement in an assault on teammate Kheira Hamraoui. There is a lot to unpack from what we do know, but I would caution that there is still a lot that is unknown at the moment and that there are multiple lenses this story is going through which can cloud judgement.


The BBC put together a nice article on the Women’s African Champions League that lays out the benefits and gives a brief overview of who’s in it. Now if only there was a Concacaf version...


I put together a google sheet that compiles U17 Femenil match results into a group and overall table as well as tracking goal scorers. It’s a little temperamental, but it’s better than nothing.


Amy Lopez and Adriana Terrazas’ latest OurFutbol podcast is out. It’s so cool listening to an entire podcast dedicated to Liga MX Femenil and Mexican women’s soccer. If you don’t already, give them a listen.


If you have something that should be included in this segment, please reach out to me via twitter or email me at golazodelgringo@gmail.com


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

Friday, November 12:

León (3-4-8) vs. Club Atlético de San Luis (2-5-8) - 6:00 PM

Mazatlán FC (1-3-11) vs. Toluca (4-3-8) - 8:00 PM - TVP (Mexico)

Saturday, November 13:

Club Atlético de San Luis U17 (0-3-2) vs. Atlas U17 (3-1-1) - 11:00 AM

Atlas (9-3-3) vs. Pachuca (5-5-5) - 12:00 PM - TVC Deporte (Mexico)

UNAM Pumas (4-6-5) vs. Puebla F.C. (4-3-8) - 12:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)

Necaxa U17 (1-1-2) vs. Tigres UANL U17 (4-0-0) - 12:00 PM

Necaxa (4-2-9) vs. FC Juárez (1-2-12) - 4:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro (3-4-8) vs. Santos Laguna (9-3-3) - 5:00 PM - TVC Deportes (Mexico)

América (8-3-4) vs. Tigres UANL (14-1-0) - 8:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

Sunday, November 14:

Mazatlán U17 (0-1-3) vs. Santos Laguna U17 (2-0-2) - 10:00 AM

Pachuca U17 (2-1-1) vs. Gallos Blancos de Querétaro U17 (0-1-3) - 11:00 AM

América U17 (3-1-0) vs. UNAM Pumas U17 (0-3-1) - 11:00 AM

Monday, November 15:

Monterrey (12-2-1) vs. Guadalajara (9-3-3) - 7:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)

Club Tijuana (7-3-5) vs. Cruz Azul (7-3-5) - 9:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)