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Liga MX Femenil recap: 2022 Clausura Liguilla Semifinals

Two thrilling series leave just Pachuca and Chivas with the Finals starting on Friday.

Detail view of the Trophy of Torneo Grita Mexico A21 Liga MX Femenil 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 Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

After two classic series, we are now down to the final two teams who will play for the Liga MX Femenil trophy this weekend. For fans of the league that have been clamoring for “anyone but Regio teams”, your wish has been granted as we’ll get a redux of the first Final series in 2017. Pachuca downed Monterrey in a series that showed their grit as well as their depth, while Chivas stunned Tigres in a late comeback at Estadio Akron.

Chivas ousts Tigres in a thrilling series: Tigres looked poised to make it to their eighth straight Liga MX Femenil Final, until they weren’t as Chivas pulled off the upset in dramatic fashion in the second leg of the series. Tigres took a 2-0 series lead in the first leg in Monterrey thanks to a solid performance in front of the great crowd at El Volcán. The match was pretty even until Mia Fishel hit a beautiful header in off of the post in the 62nd minute. Uchenna Kanu doubled the lead in the 77th, floating a header in off of a great cross in from Belén Cruz.

But Chivas had the second match in their building and took Tigres to task. The turning point of the series occurred in the 38th minute when Fishel had to be subbed out with an injury. Six minutes later Karol Bernal was unmarked on a free kick and headed the ball in to draw Chivas within one. It looked like Tigres was going to hang on to the lead until the 86th minute when Caro Jaramillo sent a cross into the box that found the foot of Kinberly Guzmán, knocking it in past Cecilia Santiago and stunning the Tigres bench.

Pachuca beats Monterrey in an even more thrilling series: Pachuca took a lead at home, but just when it looked like Rayadas had gotten it back in Monterrey Pachuca was able to find a way to advance to the Final for the first time since the inaugural 2017 Apertura season. In the first match Monterrey started out on the front foot but couldn’t get anything to go, pushing shots high and wide and forcing goalkeeper Esthefanny Barreras to make easy saves. Pachuca meanwhile kept trying to find Charlyn Corral over the top and eventually did so off of a turnover in the 20th minute. Corral was sprung down the left side, drew two defenders, lost both, and then fired a shot between the post and goalkeeper Alex Godínez. Corral got her second of the game in the 42nd, this time with a shot in off of the crossbar from the right side of the box. Both teams had some good chances in the second half, with Corral, Aylin Aviléz, and Mónica Ocampo both hitting the crossbar but not adding anything to the scoresheet. The series went to Monterrey with Rayadas having the advantage of being the higher seed.

Monterrey took full advantage of their home field, and for a moment it looked like they had pulled it off. Yamile Franco got Rayadas within one in the 48th with a rocket from outside of the box into the top corner. Then in the 57th Rebeca Bernal converted a penalty to put one foot into the Liguilla for Rayadas. But it all changed in the 59th minute when Viridiana Salazar made a run down the left, got past her defender, and hit a blistering shot that Godínez couldn’t hang on to to give Pachuca the game winning goal.


Sub 17 results

Quarterfinals

Santos Laguna 2, UNAM Pumas 0

Pachuca 2, León 0

América 1, Tigres UANL 0

Guadalajara 2, Toluca 0

Semifinal schedule (all times as listed):

Saturday, May 21:

Santos Laguna vs. Pachuca - 10:00 AM

América vs. Guadalajara - 11:00 AM

(Teams will play one game, and if the match ends in a tie it will be decided by penalties.)


Notes and other things:


Stefi Jiménez has joined Atlético Madrid for a training stint during the offseason. This marks the first time Madrid has brought in someone from Atlético San Luis.


Necaxa released their preseason roster, which seems early until we realize the 2022 Apertura is starting in early July (at least for the men, and most likely the women too).


Arlett Tovar was released by Toluca.


Pumas released four players including Marlyn Campa and Fabiola Santamaría.


Vero Pérez announced she was leaving Atlas.


Meg Linehan of The Athletic details upcoming NWSL expansion.


Equal pay between men and women’s national teams is now a reality in the US.

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


Final schedule (all times as listed):

Friday, May 20:

Pachuca vs. Guadalajara - 9:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico)

Monday, May 23:

Guadalajara vs. Pachuca - 8:00 PM - FOX Sports (Mexico), Chivas TV, Telemundo Deportes App (United States)