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Liga MX Femenil recap: 2021 Apertura, Week 17

The 2021 Apertura is done, and the Liguilla starts after the international break.

General view of the stadium prior to 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

It was a good weekend for teams who wanted to score four goals, as six teams had four or more. Some teams got a tune-up heading into the Liguilla, others got something to build on for next year, and others will probably be thankful the season is over.

Toluca 0, Guadalajara 4: Chivas get a solid win against Toluca as they head into their third straight Liguilla. Licha Cervantes set up a Joseline Montoya goal on a breakaway in the 22nd minute, and then scored two of her own to put it out of reach. In the 56th Cervantes blew past the entire defensive back line of Toluca, cut back, and then hit a shot into the back of the net and then eleven minutes later had a nice give-and-go with Carolina Jaramillo before hitting a shot from just outside of the box for her league best 17th goal of the season. Jaramillo put the exclamation point on the win in the 75th minute with a free kick from the top of the box. Chivas finishes in fourth place with 33 points and will face América in the quarterfinal round.

América 4, León 1: A convincing win by América after a rough stretch of games, and they’ll need it as they head into the Liguilla against archrivals Chivas. Sarah Luebbert set the tone in the first minute, fighting for a rebound in the box and then knocking it in to give the home side the lead. Dani Espinosa then had a brace in three minutes, first capitalizing on an error by Diana Sánchez and knocking the ball over the line in the sixth minute. It looked like it might have been cleared out by Victoria Swift, but replays showed the refereeing crew got the goal call right. Espinosa then did it again in the ninth minute by converting a penalty. Marta Cox drew one back for León in the 27th minute, getting to a missed clearance by Selene Valera, drawing Renata Masciarelli off of her line, and firing into an empty net. In the 69th Espinosa got her hat trick by blowing past the León defense and shooting past Sánchez.

UNAM Pumas 4, Mazatlán FC 0: Pumas trying to get something positive to build on for next season with a 4-0 dismantling of Mazatlán. Akemi Yokoyama got her first goal in a Pumas shirt in the fourth minute when she put her head onto a set piece off of a short corner. Then in the 13th it was Natalia Valadez’ turn, streaking past a stationary Mazatlán defense to head the ball into the back of the net. Marlyn Campa added one in the 24th when she got onto a nice pass from Luz Duarte and hit it top shelf. In the 35th Valadez was taken down in the box and Daniela García converted the penalty to round out the scoring. Pumas had some more good chances, hitting the woodwork twice throughout the rest of the match but it wouldn’t matter. Pumas were in it until the final couple of weeks, and it should be interesting to see what they do during the offseason to get back to the Liguilla.

Monterrey 5, Cruz Azul 0: Not the game Cruz Azul wanted if they were looking to build momentum going into the Liguilla. Rayadas looked unstoppable from whistle to whistle, Desirée Monsiváis notched her 108th career goal in Liga MX Femenil in the second minute, converting a penalty kick. In the 19th minute, Monsiváis found Diana Evangelista in the box with a nice pass. Evangelista faked out a defender and hit a shot that goalkeeper Itzayana González got a hand to but couldn’t keep out of the net. González had some more bad luck in the 22nd when she tried to clear a ball and instead hit an onrushing Aylin Aviléz. The ball bounced back and over González and into the goal for the 3-0 lead for Rayadas. In the 43rd, Monsiváis was the architect of another goal, hitting a cross in from the right side to Diana García, who calmly knocked it in from about ten yards out. García got a brace in the 68th minute, getting her head onto a Rebeca Bernal touch off of a free kick. Monterrey will face Tijuana in the quarterfinal round, while Cruz Azul will go up against Tigres.

FC Juárez 2, Club Tijuana 4: A good back-and-forth game between Juárez and fellow border club Tijuana. Juárez got on the board first with a Miah Zuazua header off of a free kick in the 24th, but the lead would only stand for three minutes. Paola Villamizar capitalized on a defensive error, stealing the ball off of the center back’s foot and shooting past a defenseless Christina Holguin. Renae Cuéllar gave Tijuana the lead in the 32nd minute when she beat the offside trap to get a ball over the top, chested it down, and knocked it in. In the 46th minute Tijuana hit Juárez on a counterattack and the defense broke down, allowing Cuéllar to again get an uncontested shot on goal that Holguin had little chance to stop. Villamizar got her second of the game in the 62nd when she was left unmarked on a run into the box and got a nice touch on the pass in. Alejandra Curiel converted a penalty in stoppage after a handball in the box, but it was far too little, far too late.

Pachuca 2, Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 0: A good game to build on for next season for Pachuca. Viridiana Salazar scored her ninth goal of the season in the 23rd minute, and Natalia Gómez-Junco added an insurance goal in the 44th to seal Pachuca’s sixth win of the season, the most of any team to not make the Liguilla.

Puebla F.C. 0, Atlas 4: It wasn’t going to be easy for Puebla, but credit to Atlas for getting their eighth win in a row in such convincing fashion against a very good defensive team. Alison González started the scoring in the 11th minute when she intercepted a poor back pass and hit a shot with pace. Fabiola Ibarra hit a wonderful free kick in the 40th minute, tucking the ball into the top right corner for her first goal of the season after missing significant time due to a knee injury. Ibarra struck again in the 51st minute, this time on a corner kick. Perhaps better known for her olímpicos, this time it was a perfectly executed volley in the box. Then in the final seconds of regulation, a miscommunication between Eileen Martínez and goalkeeper Brissa Rangel saw the ball inexplicably knocked free from Rangel straight into González’ path for an easy tap-in. Atlas is peaking at the moment, and they’ll have a tough test in Santos Laguna in the quarterfinal round.

Club Atlético de San Luis 1, Necaxa 1: A decent result for both teams, who will start preparations for next season. San Luis got on the board first when Citlali hit a rocket from about 25 yards out that went in off of the underside of the crossbar. Fanny Grano equalized in the 70th minute converting a penalty kick to get Necaxa one more point in their best season as a club with 18 points.

Santos Laguna 0, Tigres UANL 2: A good game by Santos but ultimately falling to the superlíders 2-0. Santos played an immaculate first half, but early in the second half a free kick fell to Jackie Ovalle in the box, and she was able to corral it and hit a left-footed blast into the top of the net. In the 58th minute, Alexia Villanueva crashed into goalkeeper Ceci Santiago and was shown a straight red card. It looked like Villanueva was trying to jump over Santiago, but the goalkeeper tried to stand up as she did and caught a knee straight in the face and had to come out of the game. Stefany Mayor sealed the game in the 81st when Tigres hit Santos on a counterattack and Ovalle hit a pinpoint pass into the box that Mayor finished with an immaculate touch. Santos will face Atlas, while Tigres faces Cruz Azul.

Sub 17 results

Week 8

Tigres UANL U17 3, Mazatlán FC U17 0

Santos Laguna U17 1, Necaxa U17 1

Club Tijuana U17 3, Guadalajara U17 2

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro U17 1, UNAM Pumas U17 1

América U17 1, Pachuca U17 1

Notes and other things

The Washington Spirit won the NWSL championship, and not only did they get a congratulatory tweet from me, but from another notable Delawarean as well.

I want to shout out to all of my friends and contemporaries that covered the NWSL playoffs and championship both here at SB Nation outlets as well as other outlets. Your coverage has set a the bar super high, and I can only hope my coverage of the Liga MX Femenil Liguilla approaches the same level of depth and professionalism.

Not even 24 hours after the Chicago Red Stars lost the NWSL Championship, their coach was let go for being emotionally abusive. Unfortunately, this was something of an open secret in the NWSL but with the Global Reckoning that’s taking place, the silence was bound to be broken at some point.

Corinthians won their second Copa Libertadores Femenino in three years. Are they the best team in the world? Unfortunately we may never know. If only there was a tournament, like a World Cup, but for clubs...

Unfortunately the coaching changes have already started, with Juan Carlos Cacho being let go by Puebla Femenil.

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

Quarterfinal round (all times as listed):

Friday, December 3:

8 Cruz Azul vs. 1 Tigres UANL - 12:45 PM - TUDN (Mexico)

6 Santos Laguna vs. 3 Atlas - 6:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)

5 América vs. 4 Guadalajara - 8:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)

7 Club Tijuana vs. 2 Monterrey - 9:30 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)

Monday, December 6:

3 Atlas vs. 6 Santos Laguna - 12:00 PM - TVC Deportes (Mexico)

4 Guadalajara vs. América - 5:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)

1 Tigres UANL vs. 8 Cruz Azul - 7:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)

2 Monterrey vs. 7 Club Tijuana - 9:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)

Please note television schedules for the United States haven’t been released of publishing.