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Liga MX Femenil recap: 2021 Clausura, Week 13

One team is in, one is out, and the rest are fighting for a spot in the Liguilla.

Santos Laguna v Queretaro - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX Femenil Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

With this weekend’s action we saw our first playoff berth clinched (congratulations Tigres!) and first team mathematically eliminated (sorry Puebla!). There were also two clásicos, a ton of golazos, and more plays that make the need for VAR ever more evident.

Necaxa 1, Club Atlético de San Luis 1: Necaxa was the better club for most of the match, but San Luis was able to hang around and grab a tying goal to steal a point in Aguascalientes. Stef Baz put Necaxa up in the seventh minute with her header off of a corner kick that went in off of the underside of the crossbar. Necaxa threatened early and often, but Stefi Jiménez turned in another great performance in goal for San Luis. A penalty in the 56th minute lead to Dani Carrandi converting it in the 58th minute to level the score. In the 85th minute it looked like Citlali had committed a handball in the box but no whistle came for Necaxa, and the clubs had to settle for a point each.

Mazatlán FC 0, UNAM Pumas 0: Pumas and Mazatlán both needed a win here, so neither team should be too happy with this performance. Mariana Zárraga got her fourth shutout of the season for Mazatlán, while Melany Villeda got her eighth of the season and second in a row. Mazatlán is still three points behind Toluca for the eighth and final Liguilla spot, while Pumas is fifth, a point behind Rayadas and five behind superlíder Tigres.

Atlas 1, Toluca 2: A sub-par performance from Atlas, who looked to have trouble dealing with the physicality of Toluca. Atlas struck first when Alexa Curiel got her second goal with the club with a shot that deflected off of a defender and into the back of the net in the fourth minute. Toluca would equalize just three minutes later when Natalia Mauleon was able to beat her defender to the rebound of a free kick for her first goal of the morning. Her second came in the 20th minute when she again raced past the defense and fired a shot that beat Ana Gaby Paz. It could have been a worse loss for Atlas were it not for the heroics of goalkeeper Nicole Buenfil, who stopped not one but two penalty shots, one from Arlett Tovar in the 66th minute and another by Mauleon in stoppage time. Atlas sit in third place, three points behind Tigres, however they can clinch a playoff spot with a win this weekend against San Luis. Toluca meanwhile is in eighth place, three points ahead of América and Mazatlán for that last spot.

América 2, Guadalajara 4: A dominant win by Chivas, and it wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. Carolina Jaramillo put Chivas up in the 10th minute, finishing a good run with a good shot. A defensive breakdown by América gave the ball away and Licha Cervantes scored from close range in the 33rd. América drew one back before halftime when ex-Chivas defender Janelly Farias headed in a corner kick. In a sign of respect to her former club, her celebration was muted. After the half though Chivas was still dominant. Licha got her second of the evening and 15th of the season on a great give and go that created all sorts of space for her behind the América line. In the 83rd, Miriam Castillo got her second of the season when she hit a header off of a corner kick. Jana Gutiérrez pulled one back for América as the clock struck 90, but it was too little, too late, and the look of dejection on Gutiérrez’ face after the goal said it all. After the match, head coach Leonardo Cuéllar resigned during the press conference.

Puebla F.C. 0, Pachuca 1: Puebla did well to contain Pachuca, but ultimately Alice Soto’s breakaway goal in the 81st would be the difference. With the loss, Puebla is mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. It’s been a tough season for La Franja, however their results lately have been encouraging and could be something to build on for next season. Pachuca on the other hand are very much alive, sitting in seventh place, one point ahead of Toluca and one point behind Cruz Azul.

FC Juárez 2, Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 0: A pair of golazos from Juárez were needed to down Querétaro. In the 40th minute, Daniela Auza hit an off-balance shot that arced in off of the underside of the crossbar. Juárez goalkeeper Alonda Ubaldo made several fantastic saves to keep her first clean sheet of the season, however this game will most likely be remembered for a spectacular free kick goal in the 90th minute by Gaby Álvarez. Álvarez hit the ball hard and it swerved in flight, curling ever so slightly to kiss off of the inside of the top corner and in for a simply magical strike.

Santos Laguna 2, Cruz Azul 1: After a trying season, Santos was able to put it all together and come out with a solid win against a good opponent. Andrea Hurtado put Santos up in the 16th with a ridiculous volley off of a ball that was headed out of the area on a corner kick. Alexxandra Ramírez doubled the lead in the 79th with a calm and calculated shot in the box after losing the defense. Cruz Azul pulled one back however in the 89th minute when Paola González got to a ball off of a corner kick. With shadows of the last outing where they gave up a tying goal in stoppage looming large for Santos, they were able to clamp down and preserve the win. Santos is six points behind Toluca for the final Liguilla spot while Cruz Azul sits in sixth, one point ahead of Pachuca and three behind Pumas.

León 2, Club Tijuana 1: León put forth a good performance, downing a Xolos Femenil side that needs to win these sorts of games if they’re going to make the Liguilla. Sonia Vázquez put the hosts up at the quarter hour mark when she was able to get a ball off of a corner kick, create just enough space, and fire a shot past Itzel González. In the 71st, Claudia Cid doubled the lead with a header off of a corner kick. In the early part of stoppage Renae Cuéllar drew one back for Tijuana off of a great pass from Dulce Alvarado, but it wasn’t enough. León is in 14th place, nine points out of a playoff spot while Tijuana is in 11th place, five off of the pace.

UANL Tigres 2, Monterrey 2: While América vs. Chivas is the Clásico Nacional, the Clásico Regio is at least as of right now the marquee rivalry in fútbol mexicano and this one lived up to its billing completely. Christina Burkenroad broke the ice in the 21st on a header after Tigres gave the ball away deep. Making just her second start of the season, Jackie Ovalle pulled one back just before halftime when María Sánchez played her in on a pass that Rayadas fans believed was offside and Tigres fans believed just as passionately that it wasn’t. Tigres pulled ahead in the 47th minute off of a free kick where goalkeeper Alex Godínez made a fantastic diving save but gave up the rebound, that was shot off of Maria Cadena for an own goal. Just when it looked like Tigres might have had the win in their pockets, Monterrey captain Rebeca Bernal was the hero for her side when she got her head to a corner kick, somehow making it past goalkeeper Ofelia Solís for the tying goal.

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

Thursday, April 1:

Club Atlético de San Luis (2-5-6) vs. Atlas (8-3-2) - 5:00 PM

Friday, April 2:

Necaxa (2-4-7) vs. FC Juárez (2-3-8) - Claro Sports (Mexico)- 4:00 PM

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro (3-1-9) vs. León (3-2-8) - TVC Deportes (Mexico) - 5:00 PM

Saturday, April 3:

Guadalajara (8-3-2) vs. UNAM Pumas (7-4-2) - CHIVAS TV, Telemundo Deportes App (United States) - 10:00 AM

Sunday, April 4:

Puebla F.C. (1-4-8) vs. Monterrey (8-2-3) - TVC Deportes (Mexico) - 12:00 PM

Monday, April 5:

Toluca (5-5-3) vs. Mazatlán FC (4-5-4) - TUDN (Mexico) - 4:00 PM

Tigres UANL (9-3-1) vs. Cruz Azul (6-4-3) - TUDN (Mexico) - 7:00 PM

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

Pachuca (6-3-4) vs. Club Tijuana (4-3-6) - FOX Sports - 9:00 PM