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Liga MX Femenil recap: 2021 Apertura, Week 7

Goals galore this week as five of the eight games featured three goals or more.

Tigres UANL v Toluca - Torneo Grita Mexico A21 Liga MX Femenil Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Closing in on the halfway point of the season, the table is starting to take shape. Old guard powers Tigres, Chivas, Monterrey, and América are all at the top, surprising no one. The middle of the pack is a bit more of a surprise, with Santos and Tijuana occupying the fifth and sixth spots respectively and playing good soccer. Atlas and Pachuca are playing well but perhaps not as well as expected, with Puebla and Cruz Azul just on the outside and having shown both flashes of brilliance and some signs of falling apart. There’s still a lot of soccer to be played, and even for some of the teams that weren’t mention there’s an opportunity to get hot and ascend into a Liguilla spot.

Atlas 1, Monterrey 2: An entertaining match from start to finish. Desirée Monsiváis hit a chilena in the 16th minute but it was right at goalkeeper Ana Gaby Paz, who held onto it. Adriana “Boyi” Iturbide got her first goal since November 30, 2020 when she was able to break through the defense and slot one past Alex Godínez in the 28th minute. After the goal, she slid on the turf and let out a yell before collapsing, clearly overwhelmed by the moment after battling back from a serious injury. Minutes later Iturbide drew a foul in the box, but Godínez saved the penalty attempt by Alison González. Godínez made another critical save on González in the 56th on a shot from the top of the box, which kept Rayadas in the game. In the 57th minute, Diana Evangelista broke past the defense and found a wide open Daniela Solís, who drew Paz off of her line for the goal. Godínez made another brilliant save on González in the 87th, and a minute later a giveaway at midfield lead to Aylín Aviléz’ third goal of the season to give Monterrey the win.

UNAM Pumas 2, Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 0: Pumas gets their first win of the season with a 2-0 victory over Querétaro. The first half was fairly even between the teams, with neither really threatening much. The game was broken open in the second half when Marylin Díaz hit a free kick that inexplicably went through the legs of Vanessa Córdoba to give Pumas the lead. Bibiana Quintos hit the crossbar on an audacious shot in the 64th minute. In the 86th minute, Luz Duarte got the insurance goal when she fought off a defender and got a shot off from close range.

Guadalajara 2, Mazatlán FC 0: Chivas keeps on rolling, downing Mazatlán 2-0 at Verde Valle. Chivas got the scoring started early when Araceli Torres hit a shot off of the crossbar in the fourth minute that fell to a wide open Gabriela Valenzuela in the box, who easily knocked it into the back of the net. Carolina Jaramillo doubled the lead in the 19th when she made a slick move to make a defender miss and then hit a beautiful arcing shot that Mariana Zárraga stood little chance of saving. Mazatlán never really threatened in this one, but they were able to keep it respectable and kept Licha Cervantes off of the scoresheet.

Club Atlético de San Luis 1, Club Tijuana 3: A good game by Tijuana that was marred by an on-field altercation at the end. In the fourth minute of play, Paola Villamizar hit a rocket from around 30 yards out that beat a diving Ivette Alvarado to give Xolos Femenil the lead. Joselyn De La Rosa got her first goal of the season in the 31st minute on a flying kick that connected to a corner kick. Itzel Gonzélez made two great saves in the pouring rain before the end of the half to keep the 2-0 lead, but just after the start of the second half Bea Parra hit a shot that González made a diving stop on, but Misdiel González got to it and slammed it into the back of the net to cut the deficit to just one goal. In the 74th, Sheila Pulido hit a cross to Angelina Hix, who got a touch on it to make it 3-1 for Tijuana. Toward the end of the match, Rubí Ruvalcaba and Jazmín Aguas got into a physical confrontation, and both teams rushed onto the field and began pushing and shoving. While not as violent as last week’s bronca between Puebla and Necaxa, it still was an altercation a week after one that drew negative attention to the league. Both players were shown red cards and could face additional sanctions from the league.

Necaxa 0, Club América 2: América keeps handling business, getting past Necaxa 2-0 in Aguascalientes. Necaxa almost took the lead just before the end of the first half when they hit the post twice but the ball somehow managed to stay out. América also looked to have scored in stoppage but the play was ruled offside and Sarah Luebbert’s debut goal nullified. Janelly Farías broke the deadlock in the 65th minute with a powerful header in the box. América put it away in the 83rd when Dani Espinosa broke through the defense, drawing everyone over to her before threading a pass over to Dani Flores who notched her third goal of the season. Of note, Stephanie Ribeiro left the match in the 42nd minute injured. No word as of filing this on the severity of the injury.

Pachuca 6, Puebla F.C. 2: A goal-fest in Pachuca that may have come at a steep cost for Tuzos Femenil. Viridiana Salazar has gotten back into form after a couple of seasons where she fell off of the pace a bit, scoring her third and fourth goals in the 12th and 21st minutes respectively. Verónica Martins scored on a breakaway in the 14th between Salazar’s goals, however just after her second goal in the 23rd minute, Salazar suffered an injury on the wet turf and was subbed out in the 30th. Mónica Ocampo converted the penalty to make it 3-1 at this point. Lucero Cuevas had a pair of goals in the 42nd and again in the 45th when Puebla got caught double teaming Ocampo, who simply passed to a wide-open Cuevas for tap-in goals. Pilar Aceves gave Puebla a glimmer of hope in the 70th when she scored her second goal of the season, but this hope was squashed four minutes later when Charlyn Corral was rewarded for a lung-busting run with a nice pass from Cuevas for a goal to bring the scoring to a halt at 6-2.

Tigres UANL 4, Toluca 0: Toluca looked like they were going to make a game of this, keeping Tigres in check during the first half, but as they so often do, Tigres exploded in the second half to decimate a good opponent. Katty Martínez converted a penalty in the 67th to give Tigres the lead, but the game was blown open in the 85th when Greta Espinoza hit a header past Wendy Toledo. Four minutes later María Sánchez hit a pass that found Stephany Mayor in traffic but Mayor was able to get a good touch on the ball and direct it in for her sixth goal of the season. A minute later Sánchez hit a pass to Fer Elizondo, who made a physics-defying header to put the exclamation point on the win.

Santos Laguna 4, Cruz Azul 0: A statement win by Santos, downing Cruz Azul 4-0. Alexia Villanueva wasted no time, scoring her first of the night in the second minute of play by knocking a Lourdes de Leon header past Itzayana González. In the 16th minute, Cinthya Peraza got a pass from Estela “Paleta” Gómez, turned, and fired a shot that González tipped but couldn’t stop on its way into the back of the net. Peraza then sprinted to the advertising boards on the side and stood atop them in celebration. In the 32nd, Villanueva got her brace by ripping a pass from Dani Delgado into the top of the net. Then in the 48th minute, Peraza sprung Alexxandra Ramírez, who chipped González wide and then hit an impossibly tight-angled shot to make it 4-0. And while it’s early, Santos is currently sitting in fifth place on the table, an encouraging sign for a team that has never made the Liguilla.

FC Juárez 0, León 2: León bounces back from a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Santos last week to beat Juárez 2-0 in Ciudad Juárez. León got their first goal in the ninth minute when Marta Cox threaded a perfect ball forward for Anisa Guajardo, who fought off a defender and shot one between the legs of Gabriela Herrera. Juárez almost answered in the 25th when Alejandra Curiel was played in onside, but her shot went just wide of the net. Curiel’s lone goal this season was in Week 4 when she converted a penalty against Chivas. Cox set up León’s second goal in the 68th minute, getting a deft touch to create space for Dani Calderón who dribbled and shot, tucking it in far post.

Notes and other things:

Another week, another scuffle between teams. Thankfully this one was less violent than the last one.

The league reported that fans were ejected from Santos’ win over Cruz Azul and Tigres’ win over Toluca for discriminatory chanting. Good. Femenil games have historically been mostly free of a certain discriminatory chant, and it’s good to see the league trying to keep it that way.

Iceland’s entire soccer federation resigned due to a sexual assault scandal. This article by NPR details the allegations, which are shocking and should come with a trigger warning. It’s bad, and hopefully justice is served.

Kenti Robles won a UEFA Women’s Champions League game for Real Madrid Femenino.

Uruguay’s 2021 Torneo Rexona Primer Fase fixtures are set. The big match between Nacional and Peñarol will be in Week 3, and the AUF usually broadcasts this match (and others) through their website.

There’s an effort underway to extricate the Afghanistan U17 Women’s National Team from the country. Fingers crossed these girls make it to safety.

San Lorenzo de Almagro and Argentina National Team goalkeeper Vanina Correa was named Vice President of the Argentine Confederation of Sports.

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

Friday, September 3:

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro (1-3-3) vs. Tigres UANL (7-0-0) - 5:00 PM - TVC Deportes

Saturday, September 4:

Mazatlán FC (0-1-6) vs. FC Juárez (0-1-6) - 10:00 AM - TVP (Mexico)

Cruz Azul (2-2-3) vs. Club Atlético de San Luis (1-1-5) - 12:00 PM (Mexico)

Guadalajara (6-1-0) vs. Atlas (3-2-2) - 6:10 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico), Telemundo Deportes App, CHIVASTV

América (6-0-1) vs. UNAM Pumas (1-3-3) - 8:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)

Sunday, September 5:

Puebla F.C. (3-0-4) vs. Santos Laguna (4-2-1) - 12:00 PM - TVC Deportes (Mexico)

Monday, September 6:

Toluca (2-1-4) vs. Necaxa (1-1-5) - 5:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

Pachuca (2-3-2) vs. Monterrey (6-1-0) - 7:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)

Club Tijuana (3-3-1) vs. León (2-1-4) - 9:00 PM - ESPN Deportes (United States)