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Liga MX Femenil Final match preview: Guadalajara vs. Pachuca

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Detail of the champions trophy prior to 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 Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Game: Club Deportivo Guadalajara S.A. de C.V. Femenil vs. Club de Fútbol Pachuca Femenil

Date: Monday, May 23rd

Time: 9:05 p.m. Eastern, 8:05 p.m. Central, 6:05 p.m. Pacific, 1:05 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Akron (Zapopan, Jal.)

Referees: REF: Francia Maria Gonzalez Martinez, AR1: Yudilia Carolina Briones Covarrubias, AR2: Karla Angélica Flores Ortega, 4TH: Karen Hernández Andrade

Television: United States - NBC Universo; Mexico - FOX Sports

Streaming: Chivas TV, Telemundo Deportes App (United States), fuboTV (Subscription), Sling TV (Subscription)

All-time record: Chivas holds the edge all time, winning six games to Pachuca’s three. The teams have never drawn, and have only met in the Liguilla once before, when Chivas won 3-2 on aggregate in the 2017 Apertura Final to become the league’s first champion. Chivas won the match between the teams to start the season, winning 4-1 in Pachuca thanks to a brace from Licha Cervantes and goals from Caro Jaramillo and Michelle González while Pachuca’s lone goal came from Charlyn Corral. Chivas also takes a 4-2 advantage into this leg thanks to a brace from Licha Cervantes and goals from Gabriela Valenzuela and Carolina Jaramillo, while Pachuca’s goals came from Viridiana Salazar and Mónica Ocampo.

Blanca Felix of Chivas celebrates after winning the match 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.
Blanca Félix may be a critical part of Chivas’ win, as Pachuca are expected to test her often in an attempt to get back into the series.
Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Chivas returns home with a commanding lead after a hard fought match in Pachuca. They still have a job to do however, and will need to pull out all of the stops to get their second star. Pachuca meanwhile should take heart that they had Chivas on the ropes for much of the first match and bring that energy into Estadio Akron for the second leg.

Chivas didn’t play well during the first half of the match in Pachuca, and were lucky to only trail 1-0 at the half. They got a quick goal in the second but when Pachuca pulled back ahead it could have very easily been the end of it for the evening. As Pachuca seemed to run out of gas, Chivas increased the amount of pressure on the hosts and were able to take control of the match and pick up a couple of goals.

Chivas should rely on their defense, like they did for most of the regular season when they gave up just six goals during the seventeen game season. This isn’t to say they should bunker, but they don’t need to push numbers forward and expose their back line to counterattacks. Licha Cervantes and Caro Jaramillo can create plenty on their own, the two linking up on seven goals during the regular season.

Viridiana Salazar of Pachuca celebrates her team’s second 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.
Viridiana Salazar is one of Pachuca’s many offensive weapons, but they’ll need to be more clinical in front of goal in the Vuelta match.
Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Pachuca will have to open things up a bit and somehow get two goals. The good news is that Juan Carlos Cacho has an arsenal at his disposal, with players like Liz Ángeles, Viridiana Salazar, Charlyn Corral, and Mónica Ocampo. The trick will be pushing forward enough to create chances and finishing them while not allowing Chivas to counter. Pachuca had several chances during the first half that they couldn’t finish that could have lead to a much different scenario in this upcoming leg.

Pachuca holds the dubious distinction of being the only team that’s appeared in a Liga MX Finals that hasn’t won a championship at one time or another. Chivas meanwhile still remembers the disappointment of losing to Tigres a year ago. Only one team however will erase their disappointments as they watch their team’s name etched on the trophy.