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Liga MX Femenil recap: 2021 Apertura, Week 14

Four teams are in, five ar out, and the other half of the teams are still in it.

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

Four teams are now in the Liguilla, as Santos and Chivas join Tigres and Rayadas in securing tickets to the postseason. While Tigres, Rayadas, and Chivas are just expected to make the playoffs, special recognition should be given to Santos. This marks several milestones in the club’s history. This is the first time they’ve made the Liguilla, the first time they’ve gotten 30 points (the previous record was 24) and won nine games (previous best was eight). Last season they finished with 20 points, four shy of eighth place while dealing with the death of manager Martín Pérez at the beginning of the season from COVID-19. And while they might not get very far in their first incursion into the playoffs, their turnaround from a team that constantly struggled to a team that teams constantly struggle against should be celebrated.

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 1, Cruz Azul 2: A good win on the road for Cruz Azul, keeping them in the thick of the Liguilla hunt. Brenda León put Cruz Azul up in the first minute on a brilliant cross from Magaly Cortés. Then in the 39th Karime Abud got a nice ball in from Nancy Zaragoza, chested it down, and shot past Vanessa Córdoba to double the lead. Querétaro drew one back in the 77th on a similar play where Sofía Álvarez got a great ball into the box, settled it, and fired past Itzayana González to make it 2-1, but that’s as close as Querétaro was able to get as their playoff hopes came to a close.

Mazatlán FC 0, Atlas 3: Atlas picks up their fifth win in a row by downing Mazatlán 3-0 on the road. Adriana “Boyi” Iturbide put Atlas up just before the halftime break with a header in the box, her second goal this season. Alison González got her tenth in the 62nd minute, completely unmarked at the far post on a corner kick. Three minutes later Norma Gaitan had an own goal, heading in an Atlas corner kick. Mazatlán looked like they had drew one back in the 70th when a shot was tipped up and then caught by goalkeeper Itzel Velasco, but replays show the ball most likely didn’t cross the line. There was a similar close call ten minutes later at the other end of the field when Mariana Zárraga slapped a ball off of the line, but like the one before no goal was awarded. Atlas can clinch a Liguilla berth next week with a win, a draw, or anything other than a win by Pumas.

UNAM Pumas 2, Toluca 0: Punas keeps themselves very much in the mix for the postseason with a good win over Toluca. Pumas looked good and their hard work paid off in the 31st when Toluca couldn’t clear a corner kick and Natalia Colín committed a hard foul on Natalia Valadez. Sandra Lozano stopped the penalty, but because a Toluca player was well into the box during the attempt, Marylin Díaz got to take it again. Díaz converted the penalty in the 35th, but Valadez had to come out in the 43rd for Fabiola Santamaria. Santamaria added the insurance goal in the 77th on a wonderful strike from distance that arced over Lozano and into the far corner of the net. With three games left in the season, Pumas are three points behind Tijuana and Cruz Azul, who sit in seventh and eighth spots respectively.

Puebla F.C. 1, Guadalajara 1: Puebla continues to make life difficult for their opponents, holding Chivas to a 1-1 draw. Licha Cervantes’ 15th goal of the season in the 12th minute on a short range shot put Chivas up, Chivas kept going for a second goal but couldn’t quite get one to go, as Puebla’s defense seemingly almost always had an answer to what was coming at them. Then in the 74th a Chivas corner lead to a heads-up counterattack by Puebla, resulting in Mariana Ramos hitting a shot past Celeste Espino to draw the sides level. Both teams has opportunities for a game winner, but neither were able to pull it off and as a result Chivas slips to fourth place on the table. Puebla meanwhile is mathematically eliminated but can still play spoiler going forward.

Necaxa 1, Club Tijuana 2: Tijuana getting it done on the road against Necaxa, keeping themselves in the Liguilla hunt. Xolos Femenil went up in the 28th minute when Paola Villamizar got onto a blocked shot that went into the box, blasting one into the top part of the net past Lupita Olvera. Necaxa tied it up in the 37th when after two successive shots hit the woodwork a third hit Joselyn de la Rosa in the box. Replays showed that it looked like it hit de la Rosa in the back or side and only glanced the arm, but with no VAR there was no reviewing the play. Fanny Grano converted from the spot, but the score line wouldn’t hold. Two minutes later Villamizar hit a pass to Dulce Alvarado, who turned it back across to Renae Cuéllar for her tenth goal of the season to make it 2-1. Necaxa almost tied it up in the 50th minute when Kim Lagarde floated a shot that Itzel González made a fantastic save to stop. Tijuana sits in seventh, tied on points with Cruz Azul but ahead on goal differential, while Necaxa is still mathematically alive, however they’ve reached the stage where they have to win and get a lot of help elsewhere.

León 1, Pachuca 3: Pachuca keeps themselves in the Liguilla hunt with a 3-1 win over León. León held out until the 51st minute when Natalia Gómez Junco broke the deadlock by getting to a deflected ball in the box and knocking it past Angeles Martínez. Viridiana Salazar’s seventh goal of the season doubled the lead in the 63rd, getting to the rebound of a shot that Martínez had made a save on. Paola López added a third in the 78th on a great ball in from deep. Sonia Vázquez drew one back in the 86th when Pachuca couldn’t clear the ball out of the area, but it was too little, too late. Pachua are still within four points of a top eight finish, but time is not on their side and they’ll need Cruz Azul, Tijuana, and Pumas to all slip up along the way.

Monterrey 3, América 1: Monterrey just keeps plugging along, downing América 3-1 in what could be a first round preview. In the 18th minute, Kiana Palacios’ header off of a corner kick put América up despite Monterrey having had the better of the chances up to that point. In the 50th minute there was some controversy as Aylin Aviléz went down in the box and while replays looked like she’d been tripped, no penalty was awarded. Rebeca Bernal did have a header go off of the crossbar for the second time in the game on the ensuing corner kick, but Rayadas couldn’t put one in. The stellar play of Renata Masciarelli kept Rayadas off of the scoreboard until well into the second half, however she could only do so much. In the 68th Diana Evangelista broke the game open for Monterrey, cutting in from the right flank and hitting a shot that looked like it was headed by Jocelyn Orejel as it was on its way to the net. Ten minutes later Bernal finally got her goal when Mónica Flores played a fantastic ball in from deep. Bernal was able to stay onside, chest the ball, and then volley it while spinning toward goal in a wonderful move. Orejel then had an own goal in the 80th minute while trying to clear a cross in the box. Rayadas are pretty comfortably in second place, five points behind Tigres and five above Santos and Chivas, while América drops to fifth place with the loss.

Tigres UANL 3, FC Juárez 0: Tigres did a professional job against Juárez, downing Bravos 3-0 at El Volcán. Stephany Mayor put the home side up in the second minute on a shot through traffic, and then doubled her tally in the 16th with a penalty after splitting two defenders and drawing a foul in the box a minute earlier. Marypaz Barbosa had an own goal in the 30th, deflecting a long ball in from deep past Christina Holguin. Tigres had several chances to add to their lead, but Barbosa did her best to give her team a chance. Ultimately Tigres were just too much for Juárez, as Tigres remains at the top of the table and all but have the superlíder wrapped up.

Santos Laguna 3, Club Atlético de San Luis 1: Santos jumped into third place with a good solid win over San Luis. Santos started strong and never looked back. Alexxandra Ramírez put Santos up in the 11th, capitalizing a defensive mistake and hitting a wonderful shot from distance. Two minutes later Cinthya Peraza hit a golazo off of the underside of the bar to double the lead. Peraza was taken down in the box in the 34th minute, and Alexia Villanueva converted the penalty to make it 3-0 in the 35th. Santos had a couple chances to add on to the lead, but it was Rebeca Villuendas with a free kick goal off of the underside of the crossbar in the 69th to pull one back for San Luis. Santos still went for a fourth but couldn’t quite pull it out, but they got the win nonetheless and clinched their first ever Liguilla berth.

Sub 17 results

Week 4

UNAM Pumas U17 0, Gallos Blancos de Querétaro U17 0

Club Tijuana U17 0, Club Atlético de San Luis U17 0

León U17 1, Atlas U17 6

Necaxa U17 0, Santos Laguna U17 3

Mazatlán FC U17 0, Tigres UANL U17 2

Pachuca U17 0, América U17 3

Week 5

Club Tijuana U17 2, León U17 4

Notes and other things

The Algerian Women’s National Team was stuck in Sudan for a week as Sudan devolved into insecurity after a military coup. They returned safe, and hopefully their Sudanese counterparts are safe as well.

El Mister took a great look at the digital outreach for Liga MX Femenil, which is 100% in my wheelhouse. It’s in Spanish, so if you don’t speak it utilize your browser’s translate function.

Licha Cervantes, Alison González, and Katty Martínez were named to the shortlist for IFFHS’ Women’s World Best Player award for 2021.

Past and present members of the Spanish National Team have leveled pretty horrific allegations of abuse against former coach Ignacio Quereda. Om Arvind of fellow SB Nation blog Managing Madrid translated the video to help get it in front of a wider English-language audience. There’s a lot of sexism, homophobia, and racism so it’s pretty disturbing to read but it’s important to recognize the abusive behavior so the next time Quereda turns up in a job everyone will know just what he is and stands for.

FIFPRO (the international football player’s union) released a report on abuse in soccer around the globe and what the organization is committed to doing to combat abuse. I’m not naïve enough to believe this will solve all of the issues that soccer is facing at the moment, but it’s better than nothing which is what was in place before.

Five players from the Eritrea U20 Women’s National Team have gone missing. Eritrean athletes often use international competitions to escape the country and claim asylum, so it’s possible that could be the case here. Hopefully they are all safe and will be found before this publishes.

Japan’s WE League is looking to attract players from all over the world, which is exactly the sort of ambition a lot of leagues should show.

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

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

Saturday, November 6:

Tigres UANL U17 (3-0-0) vs. Santos Laguna U17 (2-0-1) - 9:00 AM

Necaxa U17 (0-1-2) vs. Mazatlán FC (0-1-2) - 9:00 AM

UNAM Pumas U17 (0-3-0) vs. Pachuca U17 (1-1-1) - 10:00 AM

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

Atlas (8-3-3) vs. América (8-3-3) - 12:00 PM - TVC Deportes (Mexico)

Cruz Azul (6-3-5) vs. Necaxa (4-2-8) - 12:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

Atlas U17 (3-0-0) vs. León U17 (2-1-1) - 3:45 PM

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro U17 (0-1-2) vs. América U17 (2-1-0) - 3:45 PM

Sunday, November 7:

Guadalajara (9-3-2) vs. Gallos Blancos de Querétaro (2-4-8) - 10:30 AM - Telemundo Deportes (Streaming), CHIVASTV

Club Atlético de San Luis (2-5-7) vs. Monterrey (11-2-1) - 5:00 PM - ESPN (Mexico)

Monday, November 8:

Toluca (4-3-7) vs. León (2-4-8) - 5:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

Pachuca (4-5-5) vs. Santos Laguna (9-3-2) - 7:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)

Tigres UANL (13-1-0) vs. UNAM Pumas (4-6-4) - 7:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

Club Tijuana (6-3-5) vs. Mazatlán FC (1-3-10) - 9:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)

FC Juárez (1-2-11) vs. Puebla F.C. (3-3-8) - 9:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)