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Liga MX Femenil recap: 2021 Apertura, Week 2

Crossbar challenge!

Leon v Tigres - Liga MX Femenil Torneo Apertura 2021 Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images

A solid week of action in Liga MX Femenil that is seeing some new players starting to have an impact on their teams. Angelina Hix of Club Tijuana had a monster game, creating multiple chances for Xolos Femenil in their win over Toluca, and Pachuca’s offense with Charlyn Corral, Lucero Cuevas, Viri Salazar, Mónica Ocampo, and Lizbeth Ángeles could very well be a Murderer’s Row that sets all sorts of goalscoring records. Also as you’ll see throughout the recap, crossbars across Mexico got a good workout this past week.

Club América 3, Puebla F.C. 0: América bounced back from a tepid (and controversial) win over Santos with a solid 3-0 win over Puebla. It was Puebla that almost scored first however when in the second minute Mariam Castro feathered a pass out to Estef Hérnandez, who chipped goalkeeper Renata Masciarelli, but as the ball rolled toward the line Janelly Farías was able to dive and kick the ball out of harm’s way. In the 32nd, América hit Puebla on an incisive counterattack, and Montserrat Hernández played a nice pass to Kiana Palacios in the box that Palacios shot past Siena Ruelas. Then two minutes later Casandra Cuevas played Hernández in and she hit a shot that doubled the lead. Then in the 72nd América got an insurance goal when a corner kick couldn’t be cleared out. Despite Ruelas making a great save on an attempt in the mixer, the ball fell to Cuevas who rifled it into the back of the net. They almost got another when a Dani Flores header hit off of the crossbar, but bounced out of harm’s way.

Mazatlán FC 0, Santos Laguna 2: A solid win for Santos, picking up a win against Mazatlán for the second time in three weeks of play (they also beat them in Week 17 of the 2021 Guard1anes). Anahí Renteria hit a cross in the waning moments of the first half that Mazatlán’s María Sandoval attempted to bring down with her left foot but instead the ball struck her right leg and went into the back of the net for the autogol. Then in the 72nd Sandoval was defending Estela “Paleta” Gómez, when Paleta shot the ball into Sandoval. The ball looked to have hit Sandoval’s arm before hitting her in the face, and the penalty was awarded. Mazatlán native Cinthya Peraza converted the penalty for Santos, who have still never lost to Las Cañoneras.

Atlas 2, Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 1: Atlas overcame an inauspicious start to get their second straight win, downing Querétaro 2-1. A miscommunication in the 20th minute between Julissa Dávila and Ana Gaby Paz lead to Dávila’s pass going into the back of the net for the own goal. Things got a bit chippy in the 30th minute when Alison González went into the box on a pass and goalkeeper Vanessa Córdoba picked up the ball and then went in on González, shoulder-to-shoulder. González hit the deck, and words were exchanged between the players but nothing else more than a hand gesture and some steely gazes were exchanged. González almost got her revenge in the moments before the half when she dribbled past Córdoba despite more contact from the goalkeeper, but her shot smashed off of the post and out of danger. González did get it in the 50th after Dávila was brought down in the box and a penalty was awarded and “Aligol” converted the try from the spot. Querétaro had a chance to equalize in the in the 58th but a big save from Paz and a bigger block from defender Ana García kept the ball out of the back of the net. Marcia García then put Atlas up in the 64th with a header off of a corner. González almost got another in the 82nd when her header hit off of the crossbar, and then in the seconds before the clock struck 90 was able to get past María Pontigo, forcing the defender to foul her just outside of the box earning her a red card. The resulting free kick hit off of the crossbar and out, and the game was brought to a close.

Cruz Azul 1, Guadalajara 1: A 1-1 draw against a tough Chivas team that felt like a loss for Cruz Azul. Cruz Azul got off to a good start when Magaly Cortés got a header onto a free kick in the third minute, knocking it past Blanca Félix into the back of the net. Cortés paid a heavy price, as Félix went to punch the ball and instead connected with Cortés’ head, leaving the forward down on the pitch for a few minutes afterward. Cortés was able to continue however, finishing the match. Chivas took the game to the home team with Licha Cervantes getting several good looks at goal, but Cruz Azul hung in there until the final moments of the game when Cervantes was able to finally put one past goalkeeper Itzayana Gonzalez The Cruz Azul players appealed for an offside call, but none came and Chivas was able to snatch a point on the road.

Monterrey 2, FC Juárez 0: Rayadas get an expected win at El Barrial against Juárez. Desirée Monsiváis got her second goal of the season in the 22nd minute off of a free kick from just outside of the box. Aylín Aviléz had a goal ruled offside in the 44th minute, and hit the post in the 60th. Diana Evangelista added a second goal in the 61st, a long distance rainbow past Diana García to power Rayadas to their first win of the season and the first of the Eva Espejo era in Monterrey.

Club Atlético de San Luis 2, UNAM Pumas 1: Not a good game from Pumas, as San Luis gets their first win since March 7th. Liliana Rodríguez put Pumas up in the 16th minute on a nice build-up play and even better scoop-pass from Dinora Garza to set it all up. In the 35th San Luis would level it when Melany Villeda came off of her line to try and swat away a cross but missed and the ball made it to Karen Vázquez, who headed it in. Then in the 56th Isabel Kasis drove down to the end line and attempted a cross that hit Bibiana Quintos in the elbow. Kasis converted the penalty to give Atleti the game-winning goal.

Necaxa 1, Pachuca 2: Pachuca picked up a good win on the road against an improved Necaxa squad. Charlyn Corral hit the crossbar with a tight angle shot in the 25th minute and then five minutes later Alejandra Guerrero did the same. In the 51st, Corral had a shot on goal cleared off of the line by a Necaxa defender after she had drawn goalkeeper Lupita Olvera off of her line. Two minutes later a defensive mistake by Pachuca lead to Sam Calvillo taking the ball off of the foot of Karen Díaz and scoring. Pachuca equalized however in the 65th minute on a fantastic free kick from Lizbeth Ángeles. Then in the waning seconds of stoppage time Viri Salazar got a free header and put it into the back of the net to win the match for Pachuca.

León 0, Tigres UANL 2: Another tough match for León as they fall to Tigres 2-0. León was under pressure for almost the entire match and were perhaps a little lucky to only have conceded two goals. Katty Martínez got her first goal in the 13th minute when she was in the right place at the right time to clean up a rebound in the box. Then in the 71st a brilliant pass forward from Belén Cruz sprung María Sánchez, who drove forward and hit a shot to put the match out of reach.

Club Tijuana 2, Toluca 0: A solid win for Tijuana, who may be turning a page from their previous few dismal seasons. Tijuana was on the front foot for most of the match, however it was the visitors who looked to have scored first in the 32nd minute, however the goal was called offside on a very close play. In the 52nd Tijuana would break through when Angelina Hix hit a pass in to Renae Cuéllar, who then turned and fired past goalkeeper Daniela Lozano. In the 82nd, Dulce Alvarado put it away when she got onto the end of a cross from Cuéllar.

Notes and other things:

Just three days after Magaly Cortés lie on the pitch at La Noria having been accidentally punched in the head in an attempt to clear the ball, Liga MX Femenil released their concussion protocols. Concussions have been an increasingly visible topic in soccer, and it’s good to see the league put protocols in place. While it remains to be seen if these will have any actual impact, this is an undeniable good first step in focusing on player safety and well-being.

I probably should have included this in last week’s Notes and other things section, but if you’re still trying to get caught up on the new players in the league, FutMexNation put together a transfer tracker to help make sense of player movements during the offseason. I keep this bookmarked throughout the season to help me remember who is new to the league, new to their team, etc.

While you’re there, check out the latest episode of the OurFutbol podcast. If you’re at all interested in Liga MX Femenil, it’s really a must listen. Last week’s guest was Varo from the Chivas Del Norte podcast, and it was kind of cool listening to his honesty about not knowing much about the league when he first started watching it. No one knows everything about the league, even if you’ve been following it from day one, and I applaud those willing to learn and put themselves out there.

The Equalizer’s Week 1 recap is very good. Definitely check them out regularly!

Per Alfredo Tame, TUDN will now broadcast Necaxa home games and former Pumas manager Ileana Dávila has joined the broadcast team.

Argentina has named Germán Portanova as the women’s national team head coach. Portanova is an ex-footballer and has coached UAI Urquiza to three Primera División titles in 2014, 2017-18, and most recently in 2018-19. The Argentine journalists I know seem very high on Portanova, and it will be interesting to see if he can take them to the next level.

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

Friday, July 30:

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro (0-1-1) vs. Club América (2-0-0) - 5:00 PM - TVC Deportes (Mexico)

Saturday, July 31:

Toluca (0-0-2) vs. Club Atlético de San Luis (1-0-1) - 12:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

Pachuca (1-1-0) vs. Cruz Azul (1-1-0) - 7:00 PM

Sunday, August 1:

Puebla F.C. (1-0-1) vs. Mazatlán FC (0-0-2) - 12:00 PM - TVC Deportes (Mexico)

Monday, August 2:

UNAM Pumas (0-1-1) vs. Monterrey (1-1-0) - 5:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

Guadalajara (1-1-0) vs. León (0-0-2) - 7:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico), Telemundo Deportes App, CHIVASTV

Tigres UANL (2-0-0) vs. Necaxa (0-1-1) - 7:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)

Santos Laguna (1-0-1) vs. Club Tijuana (1-1-0) - 9:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico), ESPN Deportes (United States)

FC Juárez (0-0-2) vs. Atlas (2-0-0) - 9:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)