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Liga MX Femenil recap: 2021 Apertura, Week 6

Two very dramatic incidents marked a week that won’t soon be forgotten in Liga MX Femenil.

Santos Laguna v Atlas - Torneo Grita Mexico A21 Liga MX Femenil Photo by Jos Alvarez/Jam Media/Getty Images

What a week. After the first night of play, it was exciting to see all of the people who are not usually into Liga MX Femenil paying attention to Jaquelín García’s ridiculous goal. By the end of the week, those people were also talking about the league in a far more negative light due to the incident in Aguascalientes. The real shame of it all is that there was much more to the week than these moments.

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 4, FC Juárez 0: Querétaro puts in another solid performance, downing Juárez 4-0 to bring their unbeaten streak to three. Mayra Santana converted a two-on-one opportunity in the 28th minute, and then Jaquelín García hit what could be the goal of the year with a chilena from inside the box. Later in the 78th minute María Ramírez got free in the box and hit a shot past Diana García to put the game out of reach. Leidy Ramos picked up her second goal of the season in the 87th minute, capitalizing on several mistakes by the Juárez defense.

Cruz Azul 0, Tigres UANL 3: Tigres continues to roll, downing a floundering Cruz Azul 3-0. Katty Martínez broke through in the 22nd minute with a shot from distance that goalkeeper Itzayana Gonzalez couldn’t get to. Gonzalez did get a hand to a Belén Cruz shot in the 36th, tipping the slow-roller just to the outside of the post to deny the goal. Cruz wouldn’t be denied for long however, getting onto the end of a wonderful cross from Jackie Ovalle to double the lead in the 47th minute. Then three minutes later Cruz returned the favor to Ovalle, hitting a cross from the right that Ovalle knocked into the back of the net. Tigres remain perfect on the season, while Cruz Azul remain in ninth place.

Atlas 0, UNAM Pumas 0: A defensive battle that saw both teams get opportunities and fail to convert on them. Pumas had a great chance in the 40th minute but Fabiola Santamaría’s header went just wide of the post. Atlas’ best chance came in the 72nd when Zellyka Arce’s shot from inside the box hit the post and the shot off of the rebound was blocked by a Pumas defender. Both teams really needed a win here, Atlas to strengthen their Liguilla position and Pumas to help get them out of the bottom third of the table.

Necaxa 1, Puebla F.C. 0: A late goal from Fanny Grano gave Necaxa their first win of the year, but this game was marred by a full-out brawl at the end of the match. I’ll get more into this in the “Notes and other things” section, but this one will have repercussions for a long time.

América 4, Club Atlético de San Luis 0: América continues to shine, downing San Luis 4-0. After a scoreless first half, Dani Espinosa scored 16 seconds into the second half, getting a touch on a cross into the box. Then in the 55th Casandra Cuevas hit a rocket from 20 yards out to double the lead. Mayra Pelayo got her first goal of the season in the 84th when she capitalized on a defensive breakdown by San Luis, and Dani Flores rounded out the scoring in the 87th with a header. América now sits in fourth place while San Luis is in 14th with four points.

León 1, Santos Laguna 6: A game that highlights both how bad León are this season and how good Santos has become. Alexia Villenueva, Brenda López, Alexxandra Ramírez, and Cinthya Peraza all had goals before the first half ended, with Paleta Gómez and Peraza each adding one in the second. Daniela Calderón picked up the lone goal for León, who sit in 13th place with just four points.

Monterrey 2, Toluca 0: Toluca didn’t play poorly, but Monterrey was firing on all cylinders and were able to do what needed to be done to get the win. 12 minutes in Diana Evangelista got the first goal of the match on a nice flick from Daniela Solís, shooting hard enough to make it past Daniela Lozano. Then in the 24th it looked like Diana García had scored, but she was correctly ruled offside and the goal was waved off. In the 32nd, Desirée Monsiváis and Lozano collided while going for a ball in the box. Referee Katia García stopped play to allow Lozano to be tended to, and then awarded Rayadas the penalty. While replays showed it was a pretty clear penalty, Toluca players were upset that it was awarded so long after the play when there is no VAR in the league. Regardless, Monsiváis stepped up and converted for her 98th career goal in Liga MX Femenil. In the 52nd a penalty could have been awarded to Monterrey on what looked like a foul in the box on Aylín Aviléz, but García kept her whistle to herself on this occasion. Toluca’s best chance came in the 72nd minute when a defensive breakdown forced Alex Godínez to come off of her line and push a ball away from two attackers in the box. Credit should be given to Lozano, who made several saves throughout the game to keep her team in it, but it was Monterrey’s night as they remain in third place.

Mazatlán FC 3, Pachuca 3: A tale of two halves as Mazatlán was up 3-0 before Pachuca roared back in the second half to grab the draw. Belkis Escalante got her second career goal and first of the season in the 11th minute on a shot from the top of the box. Then in the 34th, Yahaira Flores hit a free kick that Esthefanny Barreras could only tip as it went into the back of the net. A minute before the half ended, Norma Gaitán’s header off of a corner kick looked to have sealed the rout. But Pachuca got an opening in the 60th minute when they were awarded a penalty. Viridiana Salazar converted to draw one back for Las Tuzas, Alice Soto pulled Pachuca within one in the 80th minute on a golazo from well outside of the box, and then five minutes later Sofía Martínez got to a poor clearance and hit it through traffic for the equalizer. Las Cañoneras are still at the bottom of the table despite getting their first point of the year, while Pachuca is still close to that eighth spot, in 12th place but just three points out.

Club Tijuana 0, Guadalajara 1: A good game between both teams that could have gone either way. Both Celeste Espino and Itzel González had good games in goal, however it was Licha Cervantes converting a penalty in the 29th that was the difference. González stopped a penalty in the 65th to keep Tijuana in it but Espino was able to get her third clean sheet of the season as Chivas keeps pace with Tigres, just two points behind the league leaders.

Notes and other things:

The fight that occurred at the end of the Necaxa vs. Puebla match is a stain on the league, but hopefully it can be used to spur changes that will dramatically decrease the likelihood of something like it happening again. It also made everyone forget the magic in Jaquelín García’s goal, which would not shock me if it was nominated for the Puskás Award. For me, this ugly incident serves as further confirmation that there needs to be greater investment into the league at multiple levels.

Players who are paid more would be much less likely to endanger their livelihood by engaging in violent behavior. Players who don’t have to take an eight-to-nine hour bus ride to their game are more likely to be in a better frame of mind and also less likely to endanger their livelihoods. Referees who are better trained don’t allow things to escalate to a point where they lose control. VAR infrastructure also allows referees to make better calls and in turn help keep players from ratcheting up things instead of de-escalating situations.

The league is still the best in North America in my opinion, and these investments will only help improve its stature both on- and off-the-field.

It will be interesting to see if Puebla’s social media team faces any sanctions for this tweet, openly criticizing the refereeing in the match.

Its definitely a line to be walked, but in context the tweet was perhaps the least offensive part of the entire situation. Puebla's social media team is also one of the best, and I’d hate to see their creativity curtailed because of this situation.

Speaking of claiming the league is the best in North America, the Women’s International Challenge Cup (WICC) happened by his past week. Four teams (Portland Thorns, FC Barcelona, Houston Dash, and Lyon) competed for the title, but it seems pretty disingenuous to claim a world anything when only three countries on two continents are included.

Of course this tournament should not take the place of a FIFA sanctioned Women’s Club World Cup, but it still smacks a bit of racism exclusivity when rumored expansion plans for the WICC will only include more NWSL and UEFA teams.

Even Liga MX Femenil’s social media manager watches less-than-legal streams. One of us! One of us!

The Campeonato Brasileiro semifinals start this week, with Corinthians and Ferroviária in one bracket and Palmeiras and Gurias Coloradas in the other. I’ve thought Corinthians are one of the best sides in the world, and another win of the Brasileiro would further cement that.

It turns out México won’t punish the women’s national team for fans of the men’s national team’s insistence on using a homophobic slur.

Colo-Colo is one of the biggest clubs in Chile, and it’s cool to see their passionate fans showing up like this for their femenino team on the road.

The Afghanistan women’s national team was evacuated from the country.

I’ll leave you with this moment of joy.

If you have something that should be included in this segment, please reach out to me via twitter or email me at

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

Saturday, August 28:

Atlas (3-2-1) vs. Monterrey (5-1-0) - 12:00 PM - TVC Deportes (Mexico)

UNAM Pumas (0-3-3) vs. Gallos Blancos de Querétaro (1-3-2) - 12:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)

Sunday, August 29:

Guadalajara (5-1-0) vs. Mazatlán FC (0-1-5) - 10:30 AM - Telemundo Deportes App, CHIVASTV

Club Atlético de San Luis (1-1-4) vs. Club Tijuana (2-3-1) 5:00 PM - ESPN (Mexico)

Monday, August 30:

Necaxa (1-1-4) vs. América (5-0-1) - 5:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)

Pachuca (1-3-2) vs. Puebla F.C. (3-0-3) - 7:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)

Tigres UANL (6-0-0) vs. Toluca (2-1-3) - 7:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

Santos Laguna (3-2-1) vs. Cruz Azul (2-2-2) - 9:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico), ESPN Deportes (United States)

FC Juárez (0-1-5) vs. León (1-1-4) - 9:00 PM - TUDN United States and Mexico)