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Liga MX Femenil recap: 2022 Clausura, Week 2

A wild week that sees some fresh faces atop the table and goal scoring race.

Liliana Mercado #7 of Tigres UANL kicks the ball during 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, Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

UNAM Pumas 0, América 1: Katty Martínez made her debut for América and scored the deciding goal as Las Águilas pick up their first win of the season in the Clásico Capitalino, downing Pumas 1-0 at CU. It didn’t take long for “Katty Killer” to get started, capitalizing on a poor clearance attempt in the fourth minute to open her account from close range. Both teams then had decent chances, but Nati Mauleon sent a shot at a wide open net over the crossbar in the 12th minute and then Natalia Valadez hit a shot at pace at an open net but missed wide in the 27th. In the second half, it was the goalkeepers coming up big, with Melany Villeda and Renata Masciarelli both making good stops to keep their respective teams in the game. No save though was better than Villeda stuffing an arcing shot into the bar and keeping it out in stoppage, but despite her heroics Pumas couldn’t find an equalizer and pick up their first loss of the season.

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 0, Pachuca 2: Querétaro opened their new stadium with a good performance, but a strong second half from Pachuca gave Tuzos Femenil their first win of the season. Gallos goalkeeper Vanessa Cordóba put on a clinic, stopping a Charlyn Corral dree kick from just outside of the box in the 29th minute. In the 51st however Corral got her first when she got the ball in space in the box and fired a shot Córdoba had no shot of getting to. Córdoba then did well to stop two successive shots in the 77th minute to keep her team in it, but it wasn’t enough and in stoppage time Andrea Balcazar finalized the result with a shot from distance through traffic that beat Córdoba far post.

Puebla 0, Monterrey 3: A good win by Rayadas, but credit to Puebla for frustrating them for as long as they did. Monterrey finally broke through in the 51st minute with a nice run and finish from Diana Evangelista, blasting one in off of the underside of the crossbar. In the 67th Rayadas got another one when Evangelista sent a cross in for Aylin Aviléz that was credited as an own goal for Ximena Cabanillas. Daniela Solís got her first goal since missing almost all of last season injured, knocking in the rebound from a Desirée Monsiváis header in the 76th minute.

Atlas 1, Mazatlán FC 1: Atlas continues to struggle, drawing Mazatlán 1-1 at home. Adriana “Boyi” Iturbide got her second goal of the season in the ninth minute when she was played forward on a wonderful ball from Janeth Hernández, hitting it in off of the glove of Nikol Ramos. But the lead was short lived, as Michell Guerrero converted a penalty in the 21st minute after a Fer Limón handball in the box.

Toluca 3, Club Tijuana 3: A barnburner as Toluca and Tijuana battle to a 3-3 draw. Tijuana scored first as Sanjuana Muñoz scored after a fantastic defensive effort from Dulce Alvarado to harass one Toluca defender and then get a second to cough up the ball. Destinney Duron equalized in the 24th minute on a worldie from the edge of the center circle. Seven minutes later Tijuana re-took the lead when Angelina Hix was in the right place at the right time to knock home a loose ball in the area. Perhaps sensing a weakness at the other end, Toluca’s Patricia Jardón tried a long-distance shot in the 36th minute that goalkeeper Itzel González was able to tip off of the post and keep out. Muñoz got her league-leading third goal in the 54th minute on a nice cross into the box from Paola Villamizar. Karen Becerril almost pulled one back in the 72nd minute on a shot that hit the post and incredulously rolled parallel to the goal line a few inches in the field of play across the entire goal mouth and out. Carolina Miranda had better luck two minutes later with a left-footed bullet from inside the box. Then when it looked like Tijuana was going to be able to hang on to the lead, Destinney Duron got her second of the night on a close range blast.

Tigres UANL 1, Guadalajara 1: A good game between two very good teams. Tigres really looked on the front early, forcing Celeste Espino to make some good saves early on to keep Chivas in the match. Chivas meanwhile missed the offensive presence of Licha Cervantes, not creating much in terms of dangerous chances until well into the second half of play. Espino couldn’t stop them all however, and Uchenna Kanu got her first Liga MX Femenil goal in the 51st minute on a header off of a corner kick. Chivas equalized in 62nd minute when Joseline Montoya got her head onto a nice cross into the box from Angelica Torres that caught Ceci Santiago with her weight on the wrong foot. There was some controversy in the 82nd minute when Kanu went down in the box and no call was given, although replays showed Damaris Godínez made plenty of contact. With any luck, fans will be treated to a rematch in the Liguilla.

León 1, FC Juárez 3: A good win for Juárez and perhaps a sign that they’re turning a corner, beating León at the Nou Camp. Juárez took the lead in the third minute when Celeste Vidal made a lung-busting run down the right side, drew the defense over toward her and hit a pinpoint pass to a wide open Karen González for a tap-in goal. Juárez continued to shred the León defense, finally adding a second tally in the 28th when Perla Navarrete cut through the center of the pitch and hit a perfectly angled shot that snuck in far post. León started to show signs of life in the second half, first when a shot hit a Juárez defender in the box in the 55th minute, but referee Alan Rodríguez judged the arm to have been in a natural position and did not award a penalty. Six minutes later they’d finally break through when Yazmín Álvarez made a nice run into the box and found a trailing Dani Calderón, who had a clear shot to pull the hosts within one. Calderón almost tied it a few minutes later with a shot from distance but it went just wide, perhaps thanks to a touch from goalkeeper Christina Holguin. Then with time running out Vidal made another run from deep, this time cutting in and shooting past Ángeles Martínez to add the insurance goal.

Club Atlético de San Luis 1, Cruz Azul 1: A decent game from both teams, but with the chance to ascend to the top of the table with a win by either team they settled for a draw. Cruz Azul got on the board first with a Natalia Enciso goal in the 35th minute, but eight minutes later San Luis equalized on a great free kick from Daniela Carrandi. Both teams had some good chances but couldn’t convert when it counted. The game was marred at the end when San Luis’ Marta Perarnau kicked Cruz Azul goalkeeper Itzayana Gonzalez in the face while going for a ball off of a corner kick, resulting with Perarnau being shown a red card.

Santos Laguna 1, Necaxa 1: Postponed until Wednesday evening because of COVID-19, Santos dominated and kept Necaxa on their back foot for most of the match. Santos created several chances starting in the second minute when Estela “Paleta” Gómez hit a cross from the left that Alexxandra Ramírez headed on frame, however Lupita Olvera was well positioned to make the stop. Santos kept at it and finally broke through in the 51st minute when a defensive mistake lead to Alexia Villanueva getting a free shot on goal. Olvera made a good save, but the rebound went to Cinthya Peraza and she knocked in her first goal of the season to put Santos up. It looked like Santos was going to hold on for the victory but as time expired Necaxa came down and floated a ball into the box. Goalkeeper Nicole Buenfil went up for it and collided with Necaxa’s Fanny Grano, and the ball came back to Luciana García Riefkohl, who hit a shot into a Santos defender. The shot deflected into her arm and Necaxa were awarded a penalty that García Riefkohl converted to get the draw for Necaxa.

Sub 17 results

Week 2

Toluca 2, Necaxa 0

Atlas 3, Club Tijuana 0

León 0, Tigres UANL 2

Puebla F.C. 2, Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 0

Monterrey 1, Guadalajara 3

Club Atlético de San Luis 1, Mazatlán F.C. 0

América 1, UNAM Pumas 1

Cruz Azul 2, Pachuca 2

Notes and other things

The big news of the past week was Tigres signing US U20 WNT forward and UCLA grad Mia Fishel.

Fishel had been drafted by the Orlando Pride of NWSL, who seemed less than happy that she had gone to Tigres.

This is such an important signing in my opinion because it has the power to transform how players coming from the NCAA system think about furthering their careers in soccer. Historically players have followed the path of either getting drafted into the NWSL and playing pro and if that didn’t happen then exploring options outside of the US (or giving up altogether). That a highly touted player chose to go to Mexico instead of signing with the team that drafted her is enough to get a few players thinking about Mexico as an option. Add in that teams like Tigres aren’t bound by a salary cap and have money at their disposal as well as world class training facilities, passionate fanbases, and a record of players transferring both to the US and to Europe to play, this could be just the beginning of a shift in how NCAA players evaluate their playing options after college.

Rachael Kriger interviewed another US-born player drafted by Orlando who found her calling playing in Mexico, speaking with Christina Burkenroad for The Equalizer.

Nadia Nadim is awesome. That’s it. That’s the note.

Iran is scheduled to take on India in the Asian Cup, marking the Islamic Republic’s first appearance in the tournament. In 2011, Iran was banned from participating in the Olympics because their players wore hijab and now a good showing in the tournament could see them in the World Cup. Best of luck to them and all the teams.

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, January 22:

Tigres UANL U17 (1-0-0) vs. Santos Laguna U17 (1-0-0) - 9:00 AM

UNAM Pumas U17 (1-1-0) vs. FC Juárez U17 (0-0-0) - 10:00 AM

Atlas (0-2-0) vs. Santos Laguna (0-1-1) - 12:00 PM - TVC Deportes (Mexico)

Cruz Azul (1-1-0) vs. Club Gallos de Querétaro (0-0-1) - 12:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

Club Gallos de Querétaro U17 (0-0-2) vs. Toluca U17 (1-0-0) - 3:45 PM

Necaxa U17 (0-0-1) vs. Cruz Azul U17 (0-1-1) - 3:45 PM

Sunday, January 23:

América U17 (1-1-0) vs. Puebla F.C. U17 (1-0-1) - 11:00 AM

Club Tijuana U17 (1-0-1) vs. Club Atlético de San Luis U17 (1-0-1) - 11:00 AM

Guadalajara U17 (2-0-0) vs. León U17 (0-0-2) - 3:45 PM

Mazatlán FC (0-1-1) vs. Puebla F.C. (0-0-2) - 7:00 PM - TVP (Mexico)

Monday, January 24:

Necaxa (0-1-1) vs. UNAM Pumas (1-0-1) - 5:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)

América (1-1-0) vs. Monterrey (1-0-0) - 7:00 PM - TUDN (United States and Mexico)

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

Guadalajara (1-1-0) vs. Toluca (1-1-0) - 9:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico), Telemundo Deportes App (United States)

Club Tijuana (1-1-0) vs. Club Atlético de San Luis (1-1-0) - 9:00 PM - ESPN Deportes (United States), ESPN+ App (United States)

FC Juárez (1-0-1) vs. Tigres UANL (1-1-0) - 9:00 PM - TUDN (Mexico)