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Liga MX Femenil recap: 2021 Clausura, Week 17

Here’s how the last week of the regular season went in Liga MX Femenil

Chivas Femenil players train ahead of their 2021 Guard1anes Liguilla match against Toluca.
Chivas Femenil players train ahead of their 2021 Guard1anes Liguilla match against Toluca.
Club Deportivo Guadalajara S.A. de C.V. press release

It’s been a fun season, but it’s time to say good-bye to ten of the teams while the remaining eight slug it out in the Liguilla. América snuck in at the last moment, Tigres held on to the superlíder, and a new goleadora was crowned.

Cruz Azul 2, Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 5: Not as bad as perhaps the final scoreline suggests. Cruz Azul needed a win against Querétaro in order to have a shot at making the eighth seed, and at the end was throwing as many players forward as they could in a desparate attempt to score. Maritza Maldonado put Querétaro up in the 25th minute, putting a great pass from Lizette Rodríguez into the back of the net on a break. Cruz Azul equalized in the 55th minute when Alejandra Curiel buried a penalty, but Querétaro pulled back ahead in the 79th when Maldonado hit a shot off of the bar that ricocheted onto the ground. Goalkeeper Karla Morales couldn’t corral it, and Brenda Viramontes was there to knock it in. Querétaro got a third in the 82nd minute when Fátima Servín got a header on a breakaway. Morales committed a foul in the box in the 83rd, and Karym Iturbe converted the penalty to make it 4-1 Querétaro. Curiel was able to pull one back for Cruz Azul in the 87th when she drew and converted a penalty, but Viramontes scored one more in stoppage for Querétaro to complete the rout and end Cruz Azul’s Liguilla ambitions.

Pachuca 4, Club Atlético de San Luis 1: A thrashing by Pachuca as they head into the Liguilla round. Mónica Ocampo opened the scoring in the 32nd, getting her sixth goal of the season. Viridiana Salazar doubled the lead in the 54th with her seventh of the season, and Andrea Balcázar scored in the 75th off of a corner kick. Isabel Kasis got San Luis’ only goal in the 89th on a nice flowing move from Atleti, but it was too little too, late and Pachuca added one just inside stoppage time when Balcázar hit a long range shot that was just out of reach by the diving Stefani Jiménez.

Mazatlán FC 2, Santos Laguna 3: Mazatlán jumped out to a 2-0 lead but Santos was able to come back and pick up their fifth win of the season. Magaly Cortés scored on a close range shot in the eighth minute and Meli Ramos doubled it in the 21st when Wendy Toledo had come too far off of her line and Ramos was able to go around her and put the ball into the empty net. But Mazatlán native Cinthya Peraza drew one back for Santos in the 38th on a blistering free kick that kissed the underside of the crossbar on the way in. Alexxandra Ramírez drew the teams level in the 40th when she got to a Peraza free kick and knocked it in past Mariana Zárraga. Then in the 62nd minute Alexia Villanueva got the game winning goal on the counterattack.

FC Juárez 2, León 1: Juárez gets a good ending to an otherwise disappointing season, beating León 2-1. Daniela Auza made a good run, weaving through the defense and hitting Silvia Elicerio in stride in the 12th to put the home side up, and Miah Zuazua converted a penalty in the 20th to double the lead. Paulina Gómez scored the lone goal for León in the 26th, but couldn’t grab another despite having a couple of good opportunities later in the match.

Puebla F.C. 1, Club América 0: Puebla also ends a disappointing season with a win, beating América 1-0. The lone goal was an autogol in the 56th minute when Gabriela Lozada headed a long ball forward from Gloria Narváez into her own net. Puebla goalkeeper Siena Ruelas picked up her fourth shutout of the season and Puebla got their second win of the year; perhaps something to build on heading into the 2021 Apertura.

Toluca 0, UNAM Pumas 1: Fabiola Santamaria’s goal in the 14th was the difference as Pumas beat Toluca 1-0. Both teams now head into the Liguilla, where neither team has advanced beyond the first round and only Toluca has won a game.

Guadalajara 3, Tigres UANL 4: For me, this one was the most entertaining match of the week and a possible preview of the Final. Tigres started out hot, getting goals from Belén Cruz in the 12th on a rebound from a María Sánchez shot, Jackie Ovalle in the 15th on a long-range shot, and Stephany Mayor header off of a counter in the 18th before Chivas responded. Licha Cervantes got her 17th of the season in the 24th on a beautiful golazo from distance and Damaris Godínez capitalized on an error by Ofelia Solís in the 51st to draw Chivas within one. But Stephany Mayor got her second of the evening in the 70th when she caught Blanca Félix off of her line and hit a shot from almost at the halfway line. Joseline Montoya got one on a nice play in the box in the 82nd but it wasn’t enough and Tigres held on to down Chivas.

Monterrey 3, Atlas 1: Another game where the Regio team beat the Tapatío team, this time with Rayadas downing Atlas 3-1. Monterrey scored early when Desirée Monsiváis headed a corner kick off of the bar and Daniela Solís was able to knock it into the empty net in the second minute. Monsiváis would set Solís up for her second in the 44th with a fantastic move in traffic to evade defenders, force Ana Gaby Paz to try and make a save. While Monsiváis lost the ball going around Paz she had the presence of mind to allow Solís who was coming in at a perfect angle facing the open goal to hit the shot. Alison González got her league best 18th goal in the 63rd minute with a header, but that would be all that Atlas could muster on the evening. Rayadas got an insurance goal in the 90th from Aylin Aviléz, her ninth of the season in just 608 minutes of play.

Club Tijuana 3, Necaxa 0: Xolos Femenil ends their season on a high note, downing Necaxa 3-0. Renae Cuéllar’s natural hat-trick on the evening was the difference, earning her a Team of the Week nod. Cuéllar scored in the 20th, 45th, and 52nd to bring her season total to 11 and 35 overall with Tijuana.

Notes and other things:

Rachael Krieger gave a rundown of the final week in Liga MX Femenil at The Equalizer.

Friend of the blog Melissa (@Chivas_FEng on twitter) put together this amazing chart that shows the point totals of the first place, eighth place, and last place teams over all Liga MX Femenil seasons and it confirms something you may have suspected: the gap between the best and the worst is closing. While there’s still a long way to go before equilibrium, we’re also not seeing weekly 9-0 thrashings either. She also put together a chart that shows points per game.

Sporting Director for Bayern München Frauen Bianca Rech shared a video that went viral, showing clubs in Colombia helping promote their women’s teams by halving their badges. The men’s side got one half, the women got the other, with the message being that fans of the club were fans of both men’s and women’s sides equally.

While this article focused on the rebrand of the NWSL’s Sky Blue NY/NJ Gotham FC, some of the lessons learned from it could very easily be applied to teams in Liga MX.

Liguilla (all times Central):

Friday, May 7:

#8 América vs. #1 Tigres UANL - 10:00 AM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

#5 UNAM Pumas vs. #4 Monterrey - 12:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

#7 Toluca vs. #2 Guadalajara - 4:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

#6 Pachuca vs. #3 Atlas - 6:30 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)

Monday, May 10:

#3 Atlas vs. #6 Pachuca - 4:00 PM - TVC Deportes (Mexico)

#2 Guadalajara vs. #7 Toluca - 6:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico), CHIVASTV

#1 Tigres UANL vs. #8 América - 8:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)

#4 Monterrey vs. #5 UNAM Pumas - 9:30 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)