The 2021 Guard1anes Liguilla quarterfinals in large part told us what we already knew. The Regiomontano teams (Tigres and Monterrey) and Tapatío teams (Chivas and Atlas) are really good. Neither Tigres nor Chivas conceded a goal against their opponents, and only Monterrey looked like they might not make it through to the next round at any point. That said, the teams that exited all played valiantly and I think the future is bright for all of them. I tried to focus less on the recaps (those you can watch via the embedded tweets) but what the teams who bowed out can do during the offseason to improve.
Ida (First Leg)
#8 América 0, #1 Tigres UANL 4: If América was going to stand a chance, they would to have had to come out of their match with Tigres with some sort of result at home. Instead, Tigres dominated, picking up a 4-0 win at Coapa. Tigres got a brace from Belén Cruz and goals from Stephany Mayor and Jackie Ovalle in the rout.
#ElResumen— LigaBBVAFemenil (@LigaBBVAFemenil) May 8, 2021
No te pierdas lo mejor del partido en Coapa , las acciones más destacadas entre América y Tigres en la IDA de los #4tosDeFinal.
#VamosPorEllas ⚽ #LigaBBVAMXFemenil pic.twitter.com/kkg68W76ed
#7 Toluca 0, #2 Guadalajara 1: Really not the worst result for Toluca, but going down 1-0 and heading to Guadalajara isn’t great either. Toluca played well, but Anette Vázquez’ rocket in first half stoppage was the difference for Chivas.
#ElResumen ➡️ ¡¡El Rebaño tomó la delantera!!— LigaBBVAFemenil (@LigaBBVAFemenil) May 8, 2021
Disfruta del vídeo resumen con las mejores jugadas de la victoria de Chivas sobre Toluca en la IDA de #4tosDeFinal del torneo #Guard1anes2021
#VamosPorEllas ⚽ #LigaBBVAMXFemenil pic.twitter.com/03KuP5WVCb
#6 Pachuca 0, #3 Atlas 2: Both teams had plenty of chances that they did not finish, however it was Atlas who got the 2-0 win at Pachuca to start the series. Fer Limón put Atlas up in the 45th minute and Joana Robles doubled it in the 65th for the game’s only goals.
#5 UNAM Pumas 1, #4 Monterrey 2: Perhaps the most even of the matches, Rayadas was lucky to eke out the 2-1 win over Pumas at Estadio Olímpico Universitario. Annia Mejía put Rayadas up early and Desirée Monsiváis converted a penalty in the 30th, however Dinora Garza drew one back in the 60th on a bad giveaway. Monterrey also was bailed out by the stellar play of Alex Godínez and the woodwork on more than one occasion.
#ElResumen ➡️— LigaBBVAFemenil (@LigaBBVAFemenil) May 8, 2021
Disfruta del vídeo resumen con los goles y las mejores jugadas del enfrentamiento entre Pumas y Rayadas en los #4tosDeFinal IDA del #Guard1anes2021
#VamosPorEllas ⚽ #LigaBBVAMXFemenil pic.twitter.com/fMbFpJ5SKA
Vuelta (Second Leg)
#1 Tigres UANL 2, #8 América 0: Tigres did what they needed to do. They remained mentally sharp despite entering the match with a four goal lead. They didn’t concede any goals, and they just kept América out of the match. América goalkeeper Renata Masciarelli kept her team in it as best as she could, but as América pressed more players forward in a desperate attempt to score, space was created in the back and in the 82nd Fer Elizondo broke through to get one past Masciarelli. Then in the 88th Belén Cruz hit an impossibly tight angle shot from by the corner flag, banking it in off of the far post for the final dagger. América had a disappointing season, but it’s to be expected when the coach leaves midway through. They’ve got a fantastic nucleus of players, and with a key addition up top they’ll have no trouble getting back into being a serious contender for silverware.
#2 Guadalajara 3, #7 Toluca 0: Toluca was actually the better side through most of the first half, but in the second half a brace from Licha Cervantes and a late goal from Gabriela Valenzuela put Chivas through to the semifinals. Toluca has a lot to feel good about, the second half of this match aside. They really held their own, and with a couple of offseason additions to help bolster the midfield and attack they could easily be a top four team.
#3 Atlas 3, #6 Pachuca 1: A dominant win at home by Atlas, a place where they have struggled at times. Alison González got a brace, bookending a nice goal by Zellyka Arce that González dished the assist on. Pachuca’s lone goal was credited as an autogol to Atlas goalkeeper Ana Gaby Paz, whose attempt to punch the ball out went awry when she collided with Viridiana Salazar. Pachuca has some real quality players on the team, and like the others who bowed out of this round they’re a couple of players short of being legitimate contenders. A good defensive signing and a good attacking midfielder or winger would make all the difference for Tuzos Femenil next season.
#4 Monterrey 2, #5 UNAM Pumas 1: Like the first round match, there wasn’t much separating Rayadas and Pumas and on another night it could have been Pumas going through. Deneva Cagigas pulled Pumas level on aggregate with her goal in the 32nd minute, but away goals favored Monterrey so Pumas had no choice but to keep pushing. Rayadas regained their composure, and got almost identical goals from Desirée Monsiváis and Christina Burkenroad in the 49th and 67th minutes respectively, Alex Godínez made a save on a penalty in the 71st minute to seal the win for Rayadas. Pumas has a really good project going, and I think if Ileana Dávila can get her hands on a top striker and/or someone to improve the play on the wings they could easily be title favorites.
Notes and other things:
This is a fun story that could only happen in women’s soccer circles: a fan comes up with a nickname for Real Madrid player Marta Cardona, which her teammates see and then adopt.
Liguilla Semifinals (all times Central):
Friday, May 14:
#3 Atlas vs. #2 Guadalajara - 5:00 PM - TVC Deportes (Mexico)
#4 Monterrey vs. #1 Tigres UANL - 9:05 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)
Monday, May 17:
#1 Tigres UANL vs. #4 Monterrey - 7:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)
#2 Guadalajara vs. #3 Atlas - 9:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico), Telemundo Deportes App (United States)