A historic week in Liga MX Femenil that saw one of the greatest players in its young history hit a milestone as Desirée Monsiváis bagged her 100th goal. There was also a goalkeeping clinic put on by Vanessa Córdoba and an absolutely bonkers classic between Santos and Chivas. Here’s the rundown.
Cruz Azul 2, Toluca 1: Cruz Azul wins their second game in a row in dramatic fashion, downing Toluca at La Noria 2-1. Both Itzayana González and Wendy Toledo made stellar saves, but neither could save them all. In the 36th minute a Toluca corner kick was cleared only as far as Patricia Jardón, and she hit the ball with force, banking it in off of the underside of the bar. In the 40th minute there was a violent collision between Toledo and Claudia Cid, and thankfully both were ok and able to continue the match. Cruz Azul equalized in the 61st when a nice heel flick by Daniela Monroy found Claudia Cid along the sideline. Cid crossed it into the box to Karime Abud, who controlled it and poked it over to Dalia Molina and Molina hit a shot in off of the underside of the crossbar, tying the match in similar fashion to how Toluca took the lead. Then just as the game looked like it was destined to end in a draw, Michelle Montero got onto a header into the box, beating Toledo to the ball and knocking it past her for the 2-1 win for La Máquina.
FC Juárez 1, América 1: In the 14th minute, Paola González ran into Natalia Mauleon in the box and a penalty was awarded however Diana García stopped the shot to keep things scoreless. In the 63rd minute, Silvia Elicerio’s header off of a corner kick gave the home side the lead. García came up big a few times for Juárez, but ultimately couldn’t keep them all out. In the 85th, another penalty was awarded to América when a shot hit a Juárez defender in the box, traveling up from her leg and into her arm. This time however Daniela Espinosa converted, and the teams ended in a 1-1 draw.
Monterrey 4, Club Tijuana 0: Rayadas put an end to Tijuana’s hot streak, thrashing them 4-0 at El Barrial. Rebeca Bernal got to the rebound of a free kick in the 24th minute to give Monterrey the lead, and Diana Evangelista added a second goal in the 56th minute however the afternoon belonged to “La Arquitecta del Gol” Desirée Monsiváis. In the 58th minute, she was able to get to the ball after Itzel González made several saves but Tijuana couldn’t clear the ball out of the box. Then in the 62nd she got onto another rebounc given up by González, knocking it in to become the first player in Liga MX Femenil history to score 100 goals.
Puebla F.C. 0, Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 1: Vanessa Córdoba had a fantastic game, making several key saves as Querétaro shut out Puebla 1-0. Córdoba started early, making a nice stop on a redirection in the box from Verónica Martins and then immediately making a point-blank save on Daniela Alcantar in the 14th minute. At the other end, Brissa Rangel made a nice stop on a free kick from Jaquelín García in the 40th minute. Rangel did well to stop a shot on a breakaway in stoppage time of the first half, but the rebound fell to García who rifled it into the open net. Córdoba came up big again in the 50th minute, stopping a close range shot from Martins to preserve the second win of the season for Querétaro.
Club Atlético de San Luis 0, Atlas 0: Atlas’ woes continue as they’re shutout by San Luis, extending their winless skid to six games and slipping to eighth place on the table. To be fair, both teams got outstanding performances from their goalkeepers, with Ivette Alvarado and Ana Gaby Paz making fantastic saves and each getting a friendly ricochet from the crossbar to earn their clean sheets. And the good news for Atlas is Fabiola Ibarra played her first minutes since suffering a ruptured ACL in her right knee back in October 2020. Hopefully her return will help Atlas regain their good form and secure a Liguilla spot.
Santos Laguna 5, Guadalajara 4: An instant classic of a game that had everything. Santos took a two goal lead early, with Dani Delgado scoring in the fifth minute and Alexia Villanueva doubling it in the 19th. A penalty was awarded to Chivas in the 27th on a handball in the box, and Licha Cervantes converted it and then scored another in the waning seconds of stoppage before the end of the first half. Alexxandra Ramírez put Santos back up on top in the 58th, but Joseline Montoya equalized for Chivas in the 64th. Then things got wild. Villanueva got her second of the evening in the 87th to seemingly get the win for Santos. Two minutes into the five allowed for stoppage, Michelle González evened it up when she knocked in a corner kick that no one could control. But there was just enough time for Nancy Quiñones to hit a free kick from distance into the top corner of the net to win the game for Santos. This was two very good teams going toe-to-toe with one another, and both coaches were complimentary after the match.
Tigres UANL 5, Pachuca 0: María Sánchez put Tigres up in the sixth minute, and they never looked back, dominating Pachuca 5-0. Liliana Mercado, Katty Martínez, Belén Cruz, and Jackie Ovalle all scored in the rout, which sees Tigres go unbeaten in their last 30 games, which is absolutely amazing by any metric.
Necaxa 3, Mazatlán FC 0: A good win by Las Centallas, who have won three of their last found games and find themselves just out of the Liguilla. Necaxa was awarded a penalty in the sixth minute when Paola Selvas played a ball off of her arm in the box. Mariana Zárraga made the save on the Fanny Grano attempt from the spot, however it was ruled that she had come off of her line early and Grano converted the second time around. Sam Calvillo doubled the lead in first half stoppage when she fought through the Mazatlán defense and hit a shot in the box. In the 63rd minute Mazatlán’s defense was exposed again by a through ball, and this time Calvillo caught Zárraga way off of her line. Calvillo played a nice ball forward for Sabina Velázquez, and her shot easily went into the open net.
León 0, UNAM Pumas 0: A point is a point, but both teams needed a win here as León and Pumas came to a 0-0 draw. It looked like León had scored in the 29th minute but it was ruled off as Daniela Calderón hit Luz Duarte from behind, clashing heads. Duarte tried a pretty outrageous backheel in the 32nd minute, but Angeles Martínez made a nice sliding save at the point of contact. Pumas might have gotten away with one when it looked like Dirce Delgado handled the ball in the box, but play continued and no penalty was given. In the final seconds of stoppage time in the match it looked again like León had scored but Sonia Vázquez was ruled to be offside. Replays were close, but without VAR any arguments were moot.
Notes and other things
It’s impossible to understate how important Liga MX Femenil has been to soccer. A proof of concept that if you invest in the women’s game, the game will grow and people will enjoy it. Of course there are things that could and should happen to improve the league, but the message has been simple: if you build it, they will come.
It’s also impossible to talk about the genesis of Liga MX Femenil without talking about Desirée Monsiváis. One of the few recognizable players when the league first started, she has forever cemented her place in history by becoming the first player to score 100 goals in the league. Of course there will be more players who reach this milestone; Katty Martínez has 94 goals and is a good look to join Monsiváis in the 100 club before the end of the season.
What should not be lost however is what Monsiváis has done despite not having a domestic league to play in until she was 29. Martínez is a full ten years younger and Alison González, who has 73 goals, started her Liga MX Femenil career at just 16. Perhaps the cynical will say that Monsiváis was only able to be as dominant because of her age and experience, having played with the Toronto Lady Lynx of the W-League in 2014 and in Kazakhstan the following year before coming into a new league with inexperienced players. But to me, she should be looked at as the best of an important era, linking the Futboleras of the past to the future of women’s soccer in Mexico.
Congratulations to Kenya’s Vihiga Queens, downing Ethiopia’s CBE FC 2-1 and winning the CAF Women’s Champions League CECAFA qualifiers. The CAF Women’s Championship will be held in Cairo, Egypt in November. Vihiga will join Wadi Degla SC (Egypt), AS FAR (Morocco), AS Mandé (Mali), Hasaacas Ladies F.C. (Ghana), Rivers Angels (Nigeria), Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies (South Africa), and Malabo Kings (Equatorial Guinea).
Gokulam Kerala FC’s new away jerseys use an image from the 1987 Nehru Cup in Kozhikode Stadium, where thousands of women watched the match from a women’s only gallery. Both Gokulam’s men’s and women’s team will be wearing this jersey on the road this season.
Chile has named their squad for a pair of upcoming friendlies between La Roja and Uruguay on the September 15 and 17 in Santiago. Notably, Christiane Endler is not with La Roja, instead remaining with Olympique Lyonnais “so she can comply with the period of physical adaptation with her club” that she was unable to do while representing Chile in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Former Washington Spirit player Kaiya McCullough detailed serious allegations against her former club in an hour long podcast. It’s just awful that she and her teammates were subject to the abuse, the harassment, and the racially insensitive culture within the Spirit organization.
When that Washington Post article dropped, @hiyakaiya was the only person to go "on record" about her experience, but she hasn't told her FULL story until now.— 2Cents FC (@2CentsFC) September 10, 2021
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All teams are off next week for the international break. Play resumes on Friday, September 24.