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Liga MX Femenil recap: 2021 Apertura, Week 3

Another week filled with great goals and great saves in Mexico’s top-flight women’s soccer league.

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

Another week in the books, and we’re starting to see the contenders separate a bit from the rest of the pack. América, Tigres, and Atlas are all perfect through three, however at least one of these teams will not continue that streak this week. In one of the best matchups of the season, Atlas will host Tigres this weekend. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 1, América 3: A good win on the road for América, who with Tigres and Atlas remain unbeaten and untied. Stephanie Ribeiro put the guests up in the sixth minute on a header in the box for her first Liga MX Femenil goal in her first appearance. América took the game to Querétaro, who kept players behind the ball and looked to counter when they could. It was a corner kick however where Gallos got their lone goal when América couldn’t clear out the original pass and Jazmín Enrigue headed in a pass from Maritza Maldonado in the 52nd minute. Two minutes later though América would re-take the lead when Querétaro couldn’t clear out a bouncing ball and Janelly Farías was in the right place in the right time, knocking the ball into the back of the net from six yards out. Then in the 70th minute Dani Flores scored an almost identical goal when she was able to capitalize on Gallos’ inability to clear the ball.

Toluca 1, Club Atlético de San Luis 0: Goalkeeper Daniela Lozano put on a show, making a couple of fantastic saves to keep Toluca in the match. Then in the 87th minute a long cross from Noemi Granados found the head of Destinney Duron for the game’s lone goal. Then as if to put an exclamation point on the performance, Lozano made a point blank stop on Dani Carrandi to preserve her shutout and the win.

Pachuca 0, Cruz Azul 1: Somewhat of a surprise result as Pachuca’s high-powered offense was stymied by Cruz Azul. Itzayana Gonzalez picked up her second shutout in the three games this year while Dalia Molina got her first goal of the season, taking advantage of a mistake by Pachuca goalkeeper Esthefanny Barreras in the 32nd minute.

Puebla F.C. 2, Mazatlán FC 0: A solid win for Puebla, shutting out Mazatlán 2-0 at home. Puebla had the lion’s share of chances but wasn’t able to break through until the 57th minute when Maria Sainz was given far too much time and space on the left wing and hit a cross in that Estef Hernández headed in. Maria Aceves iced the match for Puebla in the 86th on a header off of a corner kick.

UNAM Pumas 0, Monterrey 3: A poor showing from Pumas at home, who have lost two of their three games on the season. Pumas had some good chances early, but Rayadas were able to weather the storm and keep the match scoreless going into the half. After the break Desirée Monsiváis broke through in the 47th when she was in the right place to get onto the end of a blocked clearance, rifling it past Melany Villeda. Then it was the Aylín Aviléz show, as the young forward made a nice move and hit a powerful shot that hit Villeda flush and still somehow managed to go over the line in the 61st. Aviléz then stole the ball in the 63rd and drove in on goal; this time however Villeda was able to make the stop as the ball rolled over the line outside of the goal. She was in the right place to get to a rebound off of the post in the 74th minute, but only a strong defensive play from Bibiana Quintos kept that one from going in. She wouldn’t be denied forever though, and in the 83rd got onto a nice pass into the box and tipped it over Villeda as Rayadas remain undefeated on the season.

Guadalajara 2, León 1: Chivas gets a solid win over León at home, however the score could have been much more reflective of the overall performance of the home team. Licha Cervantes had a great chance in the 14th minute when she found herself alone on the left side, however the ball got tangled up in her feet and by the time she was able to recover and shoot, Sabrina Flores was able to get back and make a sliding tackle to block the shot. Cervantes got her third of the season in the 35th minute on a header from close range. Cervantes had another in the 38th minute on a beautiful acrobatic kick, however the goal was rightfully waved off for being offside. After the half, the match was a little more even, but a sloppy pass in the 85th was intercepted by Joseline Montoya. Montoya took a couple of steps in on goal and fired one that made it past Ángeles Martínez to double the lead. Sandra Camacho pulled one back for León in the 88th minute on a shot from long distance, but it was too little, too late.

Tigres UANL 8, Necaxa 1: Not much to say about this one that the scoreline doesn’t indicate. Katty Martínez had a hat trick that included an overhead touch with her back to the goal to start the scoring in the eighth minute. Lydia Rangel, Stefany Mayor, Jana Gutiérrez, María Sánchez, and Fer Elizondo all got goals in this one for Tigres, while Sam Calvillo scored the lone goal for Necaxa.

Santos Laguna 0, Club Tijuana 0: Santos were perhaps a bit unlucky to not get a win against Tijuana, who continues to improve week after week. Both Nicole Buenfil and Itzel González made several key saves to earn the scoreless draw, Buenfil’s second and González’ third shutouts of the season.

FC Juárez 0, Atlas 3: Atlas remains perfect on the season with a 3-0 win at Juárez. Alison González got her fifth goal of the season in the 24th minute when Bravos were absolutely carved open by two great passes and a nice run by “Aligol”, capping the move off with a shot through the legs of goalkeeper Christina Holguin. Then in the 39th González played a nice ball in for Paola García, who notched her third of the season with a chip over the diving Holguin. González then hit another phenomenal pass to spring García in the 70th minute that resulted in the third and final goal of the evening.

Notes and other things:

Last week here in the United States, we were privileged to be able to legally watch games on three different networks: TUDN, ESPN Deportes (the rights to the game were sold to ESPN by FOX), and NBCUniversal via the Telemundo Deportes App. It’s not lost on me that we are lucky enough to get to consume these games legally, especially since there are some games in the league where the only option is to view them illegally.

There’s really two ways this can go: networks can either see these games as viable sources of revenue and buy more rights, or they can determine they’re not worth it and stop buying the rights and leaving us in the dark. It’s incumbent upon us who enjoy watching Liga MX Femenil to consume these games legally as often as we can. This drives viewership numbers, which in turn helps the networks sell advertising space, which in turn incentivizes the networks to produce more content. This also raises the value of the property (the rights to broadcast these games), meaning the clubs can get more money when they negotiate their contracts with the networks, which in turn means more money to invest into the clubs.

But it all starts with us.

I don’t want to get into the habit of using this platform to promote my own work, however I’ll make an exception for this. I had the honor to be a guest co-host on the Our Fútbol podcast with my friend Amelia Lopez. While yes you should listen to my hilariously bad predictions for this past week, you really want to tune in for the interview we did with Santos Laguna defender Lucy Lara. Lucy told us her amazing story of overcoming a tough childhood to play soccer at Arizona State, using a bad break-up to spark her becoming a pro footballer, and dealing with the untimely passing of Santos coach Martín Pérez. Quite frankly I don’t know how I made it through the segment without crying.

Speaking of the work Amy does, definitely check out her weekly “Three Things” column. Last week’s column looks at América’s system, Alison González’ run of form, and Licha Cervantes transformation to a more well-rounded scoring threat.

Rachael Kriger recapped Week 2 for The Equalizer. It’s great seeing larger outlets that focus on women’s sports carve out a space for Liga MX Femenil. The Equalizer is a really well respected voice in the United States, and seeing them branch out gives me hope other outlets will follow.

Chile has pulled out of hosting the 2022 Copa Libertadores Femenina.

Reigning European champions FC Barcelona Femení will now train at Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy.

International transfers are often messy. There are travel and work permits to figure out, and any time you get government agencies involved there can be sticking points. Brazilian goalkeeper Veronica Martins was supposed to join Puebla Femenil this past week, but hit a problem with the Guatemalan embassy, and her story is a window into just how these things can go wrong.

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 7:

Atlas (3-0-0) vs. Tigres UANL (3-0-0) - 12:00 PM - TVC Deportes (Mexico)

Cruz Azul (2-1-0) vs. Pumas (0-1-2) - 12:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

Sunday, August 8:

Club Atlético de San Luis (1-0-2) vs. Pachuca (1-1-1) - 5:00 PM - ESPN (Mexico)

Monday, August 9:

Necaxa (0-1-2) vs. Santos Laguna (1-1-1) - 5:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)

León (0-0-3) vs. Mazatlán FC (0-0-3) - 5:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)

América (3-0-0) vs. Toluca (1-0-2) - 7:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)

Monterrey (2-1-0) vs. Puebla F.C. (2-0-1) - 7:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico), ESPN Deportes (United States), ESPN+

Club Tijuana (1-2-0) vs. Gallos Blancos de Querétaro (0-1-2) - 9:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico), ESPN Deportes (United States), ESPN+

FC Juárez (0-0-3) vs. Guadalajara (2-1-0) - 9:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)