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Liga MX Femenil 2022 Clausura Final match recap: Pachuca 2, Guadalajara 4

A classic match with Chivas taking a lead back home for the second leg.

Alicia Cervantes of Chivas celebrates after scoring her team’s third goal during the final first leg match between Pachuca and Chivas as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX Femenil at Hidalgo Stadium on May 20, 2022 in Pachuca, Mexico. Photo by Agustin Cuevas/Getty Images

The first leg of the 2022 Liga MX Clausura Final had everything that makes the league so appealing. Two teams largely locked into a cerebral battle of positioning that allowed some fluky goals, some real stunners, a crowd that was loud and enjoying the game, and of course plenty of controversy. At the end of it, Chivas got a brace from Licha Cervantes and will take a 4-2 lead home to defend against a Pachuca side that fought like warriors.

Licha Cervantes had the first opportunity of the game with a long distance shot in an attempt to catch Esthefanny Barreras off of her line, but it went over the bar. Then Mónica Ocampo tried her luck with a long range shot that was easily stopped by Blanca Félix. Pachuca did well to remain defensively sound and pressure Chivas whenever they were out of possession. In the seventh minute, Caro Jaramillo hit a dipping shot from distance but Barreras read it the entire way and stopped it rather easily. Jaramillo had a much better shot in the 12th minute that Barreras made a fantastic diving stop on, tipping it over the bar.

IN the 18th, Ocampo again shot from distance and again Félix made the easy save. Chivas largely matched Pachuca’s defensive intensity, pressuring Pachuca players when they had the ball and shutting down passing lanes almost as fast as they opened. But Pachuca was able to unlock the defense in the 27th when Ruth Bravo sent a ball into the box that Viri Salazar headed in past Félix,

Both teams stepped it up a bit after the goal. Chivas tried to push further in on Pachuca but were largely rebuffed. Pachuca meanwhile tried to slowly make their way down the field, looking for a smart pass rather than the home run ball every time. In the 35th Bravo found Corral in the box, but Corral’s redirection went just on the outside of the post. In the 42nd, Bravo found Salazar in the box again, but this time her header went wide of the net.

Chivas wasted no time trying to get an equalizer in the second half. Seconds after resuming play, Gabriela Valenzuela had a shot from distance that went wide. Then in the 48th Joseline Montoya hit a shot from just outside of the box that hit off of the top of the crossbar. A minute later it paid off when Caro Jaramillo sent a cross in from the right side. Valenzuela made a nice run from left to right and headed the ball back against the grain, catching Barreras going the wrong way to draw the score level.

Chivas then came down again and Jaramillo again floated a cross into the box but Barreras was able to intercept it before Licha Cervantes put her head on it. Pachuca then hit Chivas on the counterattack and Mónica Ocampo took a great pass from Viri Salazar and thi a shot that Félix got a hand on but couldn’t stop.

Chivas almost had a second in the 59th when a header off of a free kick hit off of the post, perhaps deflected by the diving Barreras. Three minutes later Cervantes was played into the box just onside, but her shot from a tight angle went wide on the far post side. The defensive play had loosened up a little, but both teams adjusted well and brought things back under control. Chivas however was able to draw level again in the 72nd minute when a corner kick from Carolina Jaramillo hit off of Barreras and the post before trickling into the back of the net.

Licha Cervantes was able to find some space behind the defense in the 76th, but her shot was well saved by Barreras, conceding a corner kick that was cleared out rather easily by Pachuca. At the other end, Ocampo had a go from distance in the 79th that Félix did well to stop. But Chivas came back down to the other end and Jaramillo created some space on the left and hit a cross to a poorly defended Cervantes, who got an easy header in the 80th.

There was controversy in the third minute of stoppage when Viri Salazar went up and chested a ball that appeared to hit Araceli Torres in the arm, but no call came despite the protestations. Then even further into stoppage, Valenzuela was brought down in the box and a penalty was awarded. Licha Cervantes stepped up and converted the penalty to see Chivas take a 4-2 lead back to Guadalajara.

The final leg is on Monday, May 23rd at Estadio Akron.

Pachuca: Esthefanny Barreras; Mónica Alvarado, Karen Díaz, Yanin Madrid, Sumiko Gutiérrez; Ruth Bravo (Natalia Gómez Junco, 88’), Karla Nieto, Mónica Ocampo; Viridiana Salazar, Charlyn Corral, Lizbeth Ángeles (Norma Palafox, 74’)

Guadalajara: Blanca Félix; Damaris Godínez (Kinberly Guzmán, 45’), Araceli Torres, Karol Bernal, Jaqueline Rodríguez; Annette Vázquez (Gabriela Valenzuela, 45’), Casandra Montero, Victoria Acevedo (Susan Bejarano, 70’); Carolina Jaramillo, Licha Cervantes, Joseline Montoya

Scoring: Pachuca - Viridiana Salazar (27’), Mónica Ocampo (52’); Guadalajara - Gabriela Valenzuela (49’), Carlina Jaramillo (73’), Licha Cervantes (80’, 90+5’ - penalty)

Disciplinary: Pachuca - Juan Carlos Cacho (Yellow, 90+4’); Guadalajara - Victoria Acevedo (Yellow - 14’)