As the league grown in popularity and stature, there are going to be some growing pains. Luckily the league has been savvy enough (so far) to address some of the shortcomings of the early days. The groups were abolished for a single table, dual citizens could play in the league, and the rules around player age were brought more in line with the rest of fútbol mexicano. But there’s one more thing that the league should consider mandating for next season: VAR. And yes, not all of the places that the women play are currently equipped with VAR and it should be an all-or-nothing proposition for the league. There were a couple of incidents this past week that can be added to the ever growing list of calls that should have been given the VAR treatment, and quite honestly all of the teams should be clamoring to implement this. It not only levels the playing field between players, but between femenil and varonil teams as well as Liga MX Femenil with its counterparts across a lot of the world.
América 3, UNAM Pumas 1: While not necessarily a shock result, América’s 3-1 win over prior unbeaten was a bit surprising. América scored half as many goals in this match as they had in all games prior, and did it against a team that had given up just one goal in the tournament. Pumas took the lead in the 39th minute on a Liliana Rodríguez goal, but after the half it was all América. Fabiola Santamaría’s autogol in the 62nd set the stage, and then goals from Daniela Espinosa in the 64th and Montserrat Hernández in the 67th ensured another Clásico Captialino win for Las Águilas.
Cruz Azul 0, Club Tijuana 0: A good, hard fought draw as Cruz Azul and Xolos Femenil each get a point at La Noria. Tijuana is unbeaten in their last five and hasn’t been scored on in 206 minutes, while Cruz Azul and Karla Morales get their second shutout of the year.
Mazatlán FC 2, Atlas 2: Alison González keeps on scoring, adding her tenth and eleventh goals of the season as Atlas gets a road point against Mazatlán FC. Casandra Montero put Mazatlán up in the sixth minute when she was able to capitalize on a mistake by Ana Gaby Paz. Aligol got her first of the morning when she converted a penalty in the 11th minute. Ten minutes later Meli Ramos pulled Las Cañoneras up again with a nice run and shot inside of the box. In the 61st though Aligol was the hero once again for Atlas as she beat her mark to a through ball and slotted it home past Mariana Zárraga to get the draw for the lone unbeaten team left in the league.
FC Juárez 1, Club Atlético de San Luis 1: Juárez was perhaps a bit unlucky to come away from this one with a draw, having dominated most of the match against Atleti. Silvia Elicerio converted a penalty in the 20th minute to put Juárez up and later in the match it looked like Juárez had scored but after conferring with the AR, the referee waived the goal off. Replays showed it was most likely onside, but without VAR there was no overturning the call. Then in the 90th Dani Carrandi converted a penalty to pull out the draw. Perhaps though the match will be better remembered for this viral moment from Juárez forward Miah Zuazua.
Guadalajara 5, León 1: It was the Licha Cervantes show again in Guadalajara, as she closed in on the club’s all-time goalscoring record with a hat trick against León. Cervantes had an amazing day, getting goals in the 10th, 40th, and 71st minutes as well as assisting on Isabella Gutiérrez’ goal in the 42nd and Anette Vázquez’ goal in the 73rd. Dani Calderón got the lone goal for León. Cervantes now has 19 goals in the regular season and 20 overall for Chivas, which surpasses Norma Palafox’ 18 regular season goals but it one behind her overall total.
Puebla F.C. 0, Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 1: A fairly even game where both teams had decent chances but only Querétaro was able to convert one. In the 46th minute, Lizette Rodríguez was able to get some space and hit her fifth goal of the season to give Gallos their second road win in a row and keep them a point behind Pachuca for the eighth and final Liguilla spot.
UANL Tigres 2, Toluca 0: A solid game from Toluca, but Tigres is starting to hit that next gear where they can make even the best teams look poor. María Sánchez broke the scoreless tie in the 19th minute when Toluca couldn’t clear the ball far enough and Sánchez hit a rocket past Daniela Lozano. Toluca and Tigres seemed to frustrate one another for large portions of the evening until Toluca again couldn’t clear the ball far enough in the 75th and Stephany Mayor was alone in space and didn’t miss. Tigres remains a point behind Atlas, while Toluca is in seventh in the Liguilla hunt. And while the goals were nice, this flick from Blanca Solís is worth another look.
Pachuca 1, Monterrey 0: Two of the best in the league at the moment went head to head and Pachuca was able to come out on top 1-0. Monterrey started Mariana “Keru” Caballero in goal, although Alex Godínez was on the bench for Rayadas. Viridiana Salazar’s fourth goal of the season in the 36th minute was the difference when she made a fantastic cut down the left flank past the defender and ripped a shot into the far top corner of the net.
Santos Laguna 2, Necaxa 2: A chippy game as Santos and Necaxa drew 2-2. Isela Ojeda put Santos up in the 23rd on a shot from distance, but Necaxa was able to equalize on a penalty in the 35th that is another example of why VAR should be implemented in the league. Esmeralda Zamarrón got on the end of a beautiful ball from Cinthya Peraza in the 44th to give Santos the lead going into the half, but Necaxa drew level in the 69th on a golazo from Stef Baz. Both teams were physical and not backing down from one another, which made for an entertaining match, and both can take a lot of positives from the game.
Next week (all records are in W-D-L format):
Thursday, March 4:
Gallos Blancos de Querétaro (3-1-4) vs. Pachuca (3-2-3) - TVC Deportes (Mexico) - 5:00 PM Central
Friday, March 5:
Necaxa (0-2-6) vs. Puebla (0-3-5) - Claro Sports (Mexico) - 4:00 PM Central
Saturday, March 6:
Atlas (6-2-0) vs. Cruz Azul (2-4-2) - TVC Deportes (Mexico) - 10:00 AM Central
UNAM Pumas (6-1-1) vs. Tigres UANL (6-1-1) - TUDN (US and Mexico) - 12:00 PM Central
Sunday, March 7:
Club Atlético de San Luis (1-2-5) vs. América (4-3-1) - 5:00 PM Central
Monday, March 8:
Toluca (4-2-2) vs. FC Juárez (1-2-5) - TUDN (Mexico) - 3:45 PM Central
Monterrey (5-0-3) vs. Santos Laguna (1-2-5) FOX Sports (Mexico) - 5:00 PM Central
León (2-2-4) vs. Mazatlán FC (2-3-3) - 7:00 PM Central
Club Tijuana (2-3-3) vs. Guadalajara (6-1-1) - FOX Sports (Mexico) - 7:00 PM Central