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Liga MX Femenil recap: 2022 Clausura, Week 1

Liga MX Femenil is back!

Roberto Medina, head coach of Tigres UANL gestures prior the final second leg match between Tigres UANL and Monterrey as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico A21 Liga MX Femenil at Universitario Stadium on December 20, 2021 in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

After a brief hiatus, Liga MX Femenil returned to action this past week. Only one game had to be rescheduled due to COVID-19, a minor miracle considering how bad the virus is spiking in Mexico (as well as in the United States and other countries as well). The new season marked some new beginnings, as the Uchenna Kanu era began at Tigres while the Katty Martínez and Alison González era began somewhat at Club América. There’s a lot to look forward to this season, and I’m excited to get back into it.

Mazatlán FC 1, Cruz Azul 2: Cruz Azul came into the new season having picked up a decent amount of players during the offseason, and while it wasn’t always pretty they were able to leave El Kraken with a victory to open the 2022 Liga MX Femenil season. It was Mazatlán however who got on the board first thanks to a Martha Enciso own goal in the 11th minute off of a corner kick. Mazatlán held onto the lead and had two good chances, with Tamara Romero hitting the crossbar on a free kick in the 57th minute and hitting the post in the 63rd when Karla Saavedra hit a ball into the box that just missed the foot of Norma Gaitán. Cruz Azul drew level in the 75th minute when a corner kick went through traffic and Dalia Molina knocked it into the net. Then in the waning seconds of regulation, Daniela Monroy hit a free kick that Magaly Cortés headed up and over goalkeeper Alondra Ubaldo for the game winner.

UNAM Pumas 1, León 0: A good win for Pumas against a León team that represented themselves well. Bibiana Quintos’ golazo in the third minute of play was the difference maker, with the left wing hitting a rocket from distance while on the run. Pumas kept trying to add a second goal, but Ángeles Martínez did well to keep the visitors in it, making several saves. On the other end of the pitch, Melany Villeda also came up big on several occasions, earning her first shutout of the season and Pumas’ first three points of 2022.

Puebla F.C. 1, Toluca 3: A dominant win from Toluca, starting their year off on the right foot. Stef Baz put the visitors up in the ninth minute on a nice shot from the top of the box. Karla Martínez doubled the lead in the 31st minute on a header from close range. Puebla had a couple of decent opportunities to start the second half, but the game was put out of reach in the 61st when Karen Becerril was played in behind the defense and hit a shot that beat Brissa Rangel for the third goal of the game. Puebla kept fighting and Eileen Martínez drew one back in the 76th, heading in a nice cross from María López. But it wasn’t enough and Toluca picked up the first road victory of the season.

FC Juárez 0, Club Atlético de San Luis 1: An entertaining match between two teams who are poised to improve over past seasons saw San Luis eke out a 1-0 win over Juárez. Both goalkeepers put on a show, with Juárez’ Christina Holguin and Atleti’s Stefani Jiménez making several solid stops to keep their respective teams in the game. Dayana Navarrete’s own goal in the 43rd minute was the difference, when she was unfortunately not able to clear the ball off of the line before it crossed in. Jiménez went on to make some phenomenal saves to get her team the win and win Team of the Week honors from the league.

Necaxa 1, Tigres UANL 3: Tigres got their post-Katty Martínez era off to a good start, downing Necaxa 3-1 in Aguascalientes. Nayeli Rangel put Tigres up in the tenth minute on a shot from distance that looked to have been mishandled by goalkeeper Lupita Olvera. Rangel got a brace in the 40th minute getting a touch on a deflected cross into the box. Jackie Ovalle got her first of the year in the 64th when she was able to pull down a rebound just outside of the box and hit what looked like an effortless shot into the far corner. Necaxa pulled one back in the 81st when Luciana Garcia-Riefkohl hit a beautiful shot from distance that arced into the top corner of the net, but it was too little, too late.

América 1, Atlas 1: The Katty Martínez-Alison González era finally got under way for Club América - sort of. Neither player was available for the match against González’ former team, and it was Atlas that took the early lead on a rather fluky goal. América goalkeeper Natalia Acuña couldn’t control a ball in the box and it squirted free to the foot of Adriana Iturbide. “Boyi” took a touch and fired into the open net, putting the visitors up just six minutes into the match. Both teams played well and had chances and it looked like Atlas was going to pull off the upset, especially when Karen Luna picked up her second yellow card in the 61st minute and then Janelly Farías sent a penalty kick over the bar in the 65th. But Nati Mauleon was the hero for the home team, knocking home a nice cutback pass from Sarah Luebbert in the 76th minute.

Pachuca 1, Guadalajara 4: A statement win from Chivas, coming out on top against a resurgent Pachuca. It didn’t take long for Chivas, with Rubí Soto hitting a nice cross in to Licha Cervantes in the sixth minute for Licha’s first goal of the season. Chivas thought they’d had a second when Soto and Cervantes got past the defense and Licha beat goalkeeper Gabriela Machuca, but the goal was ruled off. Pachuca drew level in the 14th when Yanin Madrid played a great ball forward for Charlyn Corral, who beat Celeste Espino to it and knocked it past the goalkeeper for her first goal of the season. While the replays were still being shown a defensive error led to Caro Jaramillo getting the ball in deep. She ran into the box and crashed into Machuca, with the ball rolling into the back of the net. Pachuca had a couple of good chances, but couldn’t draw level before Michelle González doubled the lead in the 38th minute with a deflection of a corner kick. Cervantes got her brace in the 59th when a turnover led to Soto hitting a cross into the box that Cervantes headed in.

Club Tijuana 2, Santos Laguna 1: A good match between to fairly evenly-matched teams. Santos got on the board in the 26th when a rare error from Itzel González left the ball at the feet of Alexia Villanueva, who knocked it into the empty net. Sanjuana Muñoz tied it up in the 31st, heading a cross into the box from Vanessa Sánchez López off of a quick restart in play. Annia Mejía rose up and headed in a corner kick in the 38th for the game winner.

Monterrey vs. Gallos Blancos de Querétaro: The match was postponed until February 21 due to an outbreak of COVID-19 at Monterrey.


Sub 17 results

Week 1

UNAM Pumas 3, Cruz Azul 0

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 0, América 1

Guadalajara 3, Club Atlético de San Luis 1

Santos Laguna 4, Monterrey 0

Mazatlán FC 1, Atlas 2

Pachuca 3, Puebla F.C. 1

Club Tijuana 3, León 2

FC Juárez vs. Toluca - postponed


Notes and other things

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so let me start off by saying thank you to everyone who has followed along on the journey so far. The Finals were great, not only in terms of viewership (the second leg had 216,000 viewers 2+ on TUDN in the US. This is in addition to around 126,000 who watched via the Tigres Facebook Live stream), but also in terms of getting people engaged in the action. Hosting Twitter spaces with AJ from AllanMartinezcr.com and Skye and Sylvia from Shea Butter FC during the matches was both an honor and a thrill, and it was so cool chatting with people who happened into the space. I’m super excited for what’s to come this year as well.


Panamá, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize and Costa Rica will send teams to the UNCAF International Club Tournament in Costa Rica. Hopefully this is one step closer to having a Women’s Concacaf Champions League.


The Our Fútbol podcast did a good preview of the season. Always worth a listen!


Surprising no one, María Sánchez moved to the Houston Dash. While the move was a long time coming, it’ll be great to see how she does in the NWSL.


The Saudi Arabia Women’s Football League finished its first season, with Challenge SC being crowned the league’s first ever champions back in December.


Stefany Ferrer has left Tigres. There’s a lot of speculation around where she’ll end up, and my main takeaway is that she most likely won’t be without a club for very long.


Saving the best for last, Pachuca had one of the best player unveiling videos of all time, with Viri Kloos being introduced by teammate and girlfriend Veronica Martins.

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


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

Saturday, January 15:

UNAM Pumas (1-0-0) vs. América (0-1-0) - 12:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

Toluca U17 (0-0-0) vs. Necaxa U17 (0-0-0) - 12:00 PM

Atlas U17 (1-0-0) vs. Club Tijuana U17 (1-0-0) - 3:45 PM

León U17 (0-0-1) vs. Tigres UANL U17 (0-0-0) - 3:45 PM

Puebla F.C. U17 (0-0-1) vs. Galls Blancos de Querétaro U17 (0-0-1) - 3:45 PM

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

Sunday, January 16:

Monterrey U17 (0-0-1) vs. Guadalajara U17 (1-0-0) - 10:00 AM

Club Atlético de San Luis U17 (0-0-1) vs. Mazatlán FC U17 (0-0-1) - 10:00 AM

América U17 (1-0-0) vs. UNAM Pumas U17 (1-0-0) - 11:00 AM

Cruz Azul U17 (0-0-1) vs. Pachuca U17 (1-0-0) - 11:00 AM

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

Monday, January 17:

Atlas (0-1-0) vs. Mazatlán FC (0-0-1) - 12:00 PM - TVC Deportes (Mexico)

Toluca (1-0-0) vs. Club Tijuana (1-0-0) - 5:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

León (0-0-1) vs. FC Juárez (0-0-1) - 7:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)

Tigres UANL (1-0-0) vs. Guadalajara (1-0-0) - 7:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

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

Tuesday, January 18:

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