Game: Club de Fútbol Monterrey Femenil vs. Club de Fútbol Tigres de la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León Femenil
Date: Friday, December 17th
Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio BBVA (Guadalupe, N.L.)
Referees: REF: Aldo Ballesteros Barba, AR1: Elva Gutiérrez Martínez, AR2: Viridiana Aglaeth Flores Ayala, 4TH: Itzel Hernández Fuentes
Television: United States - FOX Deportes; Mexico - FOX Sports; Belize - FOX Sports 2; Costa Rica - FOX Sports 2; Dominican Republic - FOX Sports 2; El Salvador - FOX Sports 2; Guatemala - FOX Sports 2; Honduras - FOX Sports 2; Nicaragua - FOX Sports 2; Panama - FOX Sports 2; Venezuela - FOX Sports 2
All-time record: Tigres holds the all time record with ten wins to Rayadas’ six, with seven draws between the two. Tigres has beaten Monterrey for three of its four championships, while Monterrey’s lone win came against Tigres. In their match this season, Tigres won by a 2-1 score at El Volcán,
For the sixth time, Tigres and Monterrey will face off to determine who will be crowned the eighth Liga MX Femenil champion. Monterrey will host the first leg in El Gigante de Acero before the teams head the roughly 20 minute drive north to El Volcán.
Monterrey hosts the first leg after getting past both Tijuana and Atlas by virtue of being the higher seed during the regular season. In fairness to Rayadas, both Tijuana and Atlas were very good teams that pushed Monterrey to improve, something that can’t be understated in a short tournament series like the Liguilla.
Monterrey has a wealth of talent from front to back. Their defense, anchored by goalkeeper Alex Godínez, is compact and adept at forcing teams to make bad passes and take poor shots. They did well to contain Tijuana forward Renae Cuéllar and right wing Angelina Hix by playing a 4-3-3, dropping their midfielders back to help the back line especially against Hix. They were able to do the same against Atlas, keeping Alison González fairly well shackled while still dealing effectively with Fabiola Ibarra on the left wing and Adriana “Boyi” Iturbide on the right.
Up top they have been using Aylin Aviléz and Diana Evangelista as inside forwards on the left and right respectively, feeding into and off of “La Arquitecta de Gol” Desirée Monsivás. The leading goalscorer in Liga MX Femenil history, Monsiváis has put this team on her back to get them this far in the Liguilla, scoring both goals against Tijuana to help them advance and being critical parts of both goals against Atlas.
Tigres however has been a dominant force all season long, but sometimes it’s easy to blow past just how dominant they have been. This past season they went 15-2-0 throughout the regular season and then proceeded to win three of their four Liguilla games by 4-0 scorelines. The lone blemish was a 2-1 loss was against Club América at Estadio Azteca, which was Tigres’ first loss in 40 games. During the regular season they scored a league best 52 goals while allowing a league low seven over the seventeen games.
Like Monterrey, they are absolutely stacked from top to bottom and have the depth as well. When goalkeeper Ceci Santiago was forced to miss the start of the Liguilla due to an injury picked up against Santos in the final match of the regular season they fell back to Ofelia Solís, their starting goalkeeper for three of their four championship, came in and didn’t miss a beat. When 2020 Guard1anes leading goalscorer Katty “Killer” Martínez went out injured in Week 13, they had the depth to re-arrange their formation and allow Stephany Mayor freedom as the lone striker with Jackie Ovalle on the left and Belén Cruz and María Sánchez on the right.
Tigres is clinical on the counterattack, with Mayor, Cruz, Sánchez, Ovalle, Cristina Ferral, and the recently returned Martínez giving Tigres plenty of options on the attacking end. They are patient when in possession of the ball, and won’t easily fall for a lot of Monterrey’s sleight-of-hand with passing lanes looking open long enough to bait someone into passing into it before the ball is picked off.
This should be a good series between two teams that I’d easily rank in the top ten in the Americas. On top of the quality of the players and the intriguing tactical matchups will be two environments that are unrivaled. Both Rayadas and Tigres bring the fans, with Tigres announcing that all of the roughly 40,000 tickets had been sold in 50 minutes. While we may have seen this matchup before, with these teams and fans we may not have seen anything just yet.