While the matchups aren’t quite set, eight teams have now punched their tickets to the 2021 Apertura Liguilla. Tijuana and Cruz Azul round out the field of eight, their entrance into the postseason confirmed even before they took the pitch on Monday night. There’s still one week left, and there’s a good chance the deck will be shuffled before the Liguilla officially starts. But before that, here’s the week that was.
León 0, Club Atlético de San Luis 0: It’s been a rough season for both teams, but they’re both not far from Liguilla contention. León’s Marta Cox has been one of the better extranjeras this season, giving León a good piece to build around. And Ángeles Martínez and the defense have six shutouts this season, including against San Luis on Thursday. Ivette Alvarado got her second shutout in nine appearances for San Luis, who will finish the season at home against Necaxa.
Mazatlán FC 0, Toluca 1: Brenda Vega’s first goal of her career was the difference as Toluca downed Mazatlán 1-0. Wendy Toledo got her first win and first shutout of the season. Both of these teams have some decent players in place and with a couple of smart acquisitions in the offseason could be on the other side of the Liguilla bubble next year.
Atlas 2, Pachuca 1: Atlas is getting healthy and starting to peak, which is bad news for other teams in the league. Ana Gaby Paz made several good saves to keep the team in the match, but gave up a foul in the box in the 33rd that lead to a Charlyn Corral penalty conversion in the 35th. The lead held until the 60th minute when Paola García headed in a corner kick to tie it up. Then deep in stoppage, García did it again with a header off of a corner kick to win the match for Atlas, who have won seven straight games.
UNAM Pumas 0, Puebla F.C. 1: Pumas could have kept their Liguilla hopes alive with a win at home against Puebla. Instead Puebla played spoiler, handing Pumas their sixth loss of the season. Things were knotted a zero heading into the 75th minute when a Pumas defender gave up the ball to Ivonne Najar, who easily got into the box and fired an uncontested shot into the back of the net. Pumas has regressed massively this season, and while they’ve got some exciting players, they’ll need to become more well-rounded in order to compete next season. Puebla has found their identity, and with a couple of smart signings could be the same kind of surprise Santos was this season.
Necaxa 3, FC Juárez 1: Necaxa sets a season record for wins and points with a 3-1 win over Juárez. After a scoreless first half that saw Juárez go down a player in the 35th when Celeste Vidal was sent off, Luciana Riefkohl hit a rocket from well outside of the box in the 48th that arced in over goalkeeper Christina Holguin. Kimberli Goytia tied it up in the 75th minute when goalkeeper Lupita Olvera bobbled a Miah Zuazua free kick, but Alejandro Guerrero re-took the lead in the 79th when she lost her mark and got onto a scuffed shot to knock it in. Fanny Grano sealed it in the 83rd by converting a penalty. I’m interested to see what both teams can do next season. Necaxa is moving in the right direction, so sustaining that momentum will be a new challenge for them. Juárez on the other hand has some good players and an exciting young coach in Tity González, but everything needs to mature. Offense, defense, and everything in between needs to come together as a unit or else next season could be another long one at the Borderland.
Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 4, Santos Laguna 2: A wild one in Querétaro that saw Gallos play spoiler against a Liguilla bound Santos. Leidy Ramos took advantage of some confusion on the Santos back line to pick up her first goal of the game in the seventh minute. Santos answered in the 21st when Estela “Paleta” Gómez got past the Gallos defense and hit a rocket of a volley in past Vanessa Córdoba. Ramos got her second in the 33rd when Santos again couldn’t clear the ball from the area. Santos tied in in the 39th when Nancy Quiñones hit a free kick through traffic that got past Córdoba. The second half was all Querétaro however, with Fatima Servin hitting a perfectly executed free kick from distance in the 52nd and Alondra Camargo hit a shot from almost the exact same spot during the run of play four minutes later with the same result, giving the hosts an insurmountable lead. Querétaro struggled early on but it looks like Carla Rossi’s system is finally getting some results.
América 1, Tigres UANL 1: A good game between two very good teams. Renata Masciarelli put on a show, making several acrobatic saves to keep América in this one. She couldn’t stop them all however as Jackie Ovalle made a great run and hit an even better cut back pass to Mária Sánchez at the top of the box in the 63rd that Sánchez somehow hit through traffic and under the diving Masciarelli. Belén Cruz had a golden opportunity to put it away with a header in the 67th that went just wide, and Stephany Mayor hit one off of the underside of the crossbar that bounced out in the 79th that would have sealed it, and América made them pay. Karen Luna got her head onto a corner kick in stoppage to pull out the draw for América, who snapped a two game losing streak.
Monterrey 2, Guadalajara 1: A close game between two very good teams. Rayadas had a lot of chances in the first half and almost went into the locker scoreless but Christina Burkenroad got a header off of a free kick in stoppage to put the home side up. Chivas started the second half off much better, with Gabriela Valenzuela coming close in the 47th and Licha Cervantes hitting the post in the 63rd, but Rayadas grabbed another one in the 67th when Celeste Espino took down Lizette Rodríguez in the box and Rebeca Bernal converted the penalty. Chivas were relentless in trying to come back however, and took advantage of a miscommunication in the 78th that Caro Jaramillo was able to convert, but that’s all they’d get.
Club Tijuana 4, Cruz Azul 1: A convincing win by Tijuana, and while both teams had already clinched a Liguilla berth by the time this one kicked off this still feels like a massive result for both teams. Esmeralda Verdugo started the scoring in the 10th minute with a worldie of a volley from the top of the box. Cruz Azul actually went into the half level after a 31st minute header off of a free kick from Michelle Montero. The second half was all Xolos Femenil however, as Paola Villamizar hit a nice shot inside of the box in the 55th minute to get the lead, and then four minutes later Sanjuana Muñoz hit an olímpico. Then in the 79th minute Claudia Cid was charged with an own goal when another Tijuana corner kick found its way into the back of the net. Tijuana has been surging and whomever they face in the Liguilla would be wise not to sleep on them, while Cruz Azul looks like they will have a hard time advancing to the second round.
Sub 17 results
Club Atlético de San Luis U17 2, Atlas U17 4
Necaxa U17 1, Tigres UANL U17 3
León U17 0, Guadalajara U17 3
Mazatlán FC U17 0, Santos Laguna U17 1
Pachuca U17 5, Gallos Blancos de Querétaro U17 0
América U17 0, UNAM Pumas U17 2
Notes and other things
As if Tigres weren’t already enough of a juggernaut, they might get Katty Martínez back in time to play in the Liguilla.
▶️ REPORTE MÉDICO— Tigres Femenil (@TigresFemenil) November 16, 2021
Tras pasar más de un mes, @kattyabad10 inicia trabajos progresivos de preparación física y en campo.
¡Dale, Killer! ❤️ @christusmx Hospital Alta Especialidad pic.twitter.com/hcM2eJsbyM
This is a good write up (in Spanish) about Barra Femenista, a feminist barra collective in Mexico that’s looking to re-shape what fandom is.
Khalida Popal is a hero. That is all.
Adriana of Corinthians reportedly suffered racist abuse from Uruguay’s Nacional during a Copa Libertadores Femenino match. Adriana then went on to score another goal as Corinthians beat Nacional 8-0 to relegate Nacional to the third place game, which they then lost to Ferroviária 3-1 in penalties. Corinthian will face Colombia’s Santa Fe in the title game on Sunday, November 21.
A CBF repudia o caso de racismo sofrido pela atacante Adriana no jogo entre Corinthians x Nacional (URU), pela semifinal da Libertadores Feminina. É inadmissível que cenas como essa ainda sejam realidade na nossa sociedade. Força, Adriana! #DigaNãoAoRacismo #TodosIguais pic.twitter.com/UN762GP4Iv— Seleção Feminina de Futebol (@SelecaoFeminina) November 17, 2021
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Next week (all records are in W-D-L format, all times as listed):
Friday, November 19:
Toluca (5-3-8) vs. Guadalajara (9-3-4) - 5:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)
Saturday, November 20:
Tigres UANL U17 (5-0-0) vs. Mazatlán FC U17(0-1-4) - 9:00 AM
América (8-4-4) vs, León (3-5-8) - 10:00 AM - TUDN (Mexico)
Santos Laguna U17 (3-0-2) vs. Necaxa U17 (1-1-3) - 10:30 AM
UNAM Pumas (4-6-6) vs. Mazatlán FC (1-3-12) - 12:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)
Club Tijuana U17 (0-2-3) vs. Guadalajara U17 (3-1-1) - 2:45 PM
Gallos Blancos de Querétaro U17 (0-1-4) vs. UNAM Pumas U17 (1-3-1) - 3:45 PM
Monterrey (13-2-1) vs. Cruz Azul (7-3-6) - 5:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico), ESPN Deportes (United States)
FC Juárez (1-2-13) vs. Club Tijuana (8-3-5) - 5:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)
Pachuca (5-5-6) vs. Gallos Blancos de Querétaro (4-4-8) - 7:00 PM
Sunday, November 21:
América U17 (3-1-1) vs. Pachuca U17 (3-1-1) - 11:00 AM
Puebla F.C. (5-3-8) vs. Atlas (10-3-3) - 12:00 PM - TVC Deportes (Mexico)
Club Atlético de San Luis (2-6-8) vs. Necaxa (5-2-9) - 5:00 PM - ESPN (Mexico)
Santos Laguna (9-3-4) vs. Tigres UANL (14-2-0) - 9:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)