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Concacaf W Qualification match preview: México vs. Puerto Rico

A trip to the Concacaf W Tournament is on the line in Toluca as El Tri Femenil hosts Puerto Rico.

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Aerial view of Nemesio Diez stadium prior the 2nd round match between Toluca and Leon as part of the Torneo Apertura 2017 Liga MX at Nemesio Diez Stadium on July 30, 2017 in Toluca, Mexico. Photo by Hector Vivas/LatinContent via Getty Images

Game: México vs. Puerto Rico

Date: Tuesday, April 12th

Time: 8:50 p.m. Eastern, 7:50 p.m. Central, 5:50 p.m. Pacific, 12:50 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Nemesio Díez (Toluca, Edomex.)

Television: United States - None; Mexico - TUDN

Streaming: Paramount+ (Subscription), ViX

All-time record: México and Puerto Rico have met just once before, during the 2016 Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, where México won 6-0 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, United States. Maribel “Marigol” Domínguez had a hat trick, and Alina Garciamendez, Nayeli Rangel, and Katie Johnson contributed the other goals. Neither México nor Puerto Rico made it out of the group stage.

Alicia Cervantes of Mexico drives the ball during the women’s international friendly between Mexico and Colombia at Azteca Stadium on September 21, 2021 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Licha Cervantes (pictures) and Katty Martínez co-lead México with five goals each in the tournament.
Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

It all comes down to this.

México and Puerto Rico meet to determine who moves on to the Concacaf W Championship and a possible World Cup berth, while the other team goes home. Even though both teams enter with perfect 3-0-0 records, México will have the distinct advantage. México has the edge in goal differential, meaning a tie goes in their favor. They’re also playing in Toluca, which has an elevation of 8,727 feet, Puerto Rico’s national stadium is in Mayaguez, with a high point of just 1,577 feet.

Both teams have really run through the opposition in the group, with México getting greater goal differentials against all of the opponents. México beat Antigua and Barbuda 8-0 compared to Puerto Rico’s 4-0 scoreline. El Tri also beat Angilla 11-0 as opposed to Puerto Rico’s 9-0. And México dispatched Suriname 9-0 while Puerto Rico had a bit more difficulty, only managing a 2-0 win.

Florida State Seminoles goalkeeper Cristina Roque (1) saves a shot by the Brigham Young Cougars during the first half at Stevens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti
Cristina Roque is one of a few Puerto Rico players who play in the NCAA Division 1, playing at National Champions Florida State University.
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Puerto Rico should not be taken lightly however. Las Boricuas have a good mix of professional players and players in the American college system. Mirianée Zaragoza and Karina Socarrás both play for Maritimo in Portugal and Caitlin Cosme plays professionally for the Orlando Pride , while Cristina Roque (Florida State), Jazmine Méndez (UC Riverside), and Daphane Méndez (UC Riverside) all play in the NCAA system.

Puerto Rico are a team on the rise in Concacaf, and dethroning México as the assumed number three in the region would be quite the accomplishment. México however are the clear favorites however, and with that comes the added pressures of playing in front of home fans. They’ll need to be sharp early and dictate the play of the game from whistle-to-whistle, otherwise it could be the dawn of a new era in Concacaf, just not the one fans of El Tri Femenil were expecting.