Bravas de Juárez started their Clausura 2023 campaign against Mazatlán, one of the historically weakest teams in the league. After a promising Apertura 2022 under the direction of coach Milagros Martínez, it’s expected they take things where they left off from. With that in mind, former player and now coach Mabel Ramos has been added to the coaching staff.
Juarez were in control of the ball for the majority of the game. Bravas showed they can be resourceful in the attack with Miah Zuazua, Jermaine Seoposenwe, Jasmine Cásarez, and Myra Delgadillo changing roles and positions.
Zuazua had a great game and was chosen as the woman of the match, showing why she has been on the National Team radar lately, with some very clever through passes and ball distribution. If anything, Bravas suffered in the first half only because of their own mistakes. An example of this can be seen below, where a lack of communication between Delgadillo and Cásarez threw away this great through pass by Miah.
The first goal of the game came minutes later, with a good finish by Cásarez. After that, thanks to the brilliance of Zuazua and the finishing of Delgadillo, Juárez scored another one. In the following goal, look at Miah’s well-timed pass.
Although Juárez's defense wasn’t tested enough, it was great to see Miriam García in action again. Let’s remember she signed with Tigres in 2021, but left the club searching for minutes after appearing in only 11 games in her time there.
Mazatlán keeper Jennifer Amaro did well despite the difficult conditions her team were enduring and stopped a great shot by Cásarez at the end of the first half. She would make similar saves during the rest of the match.
By the end of the first 45 minutes, Mazatlán were two goals and one player down. A red card was shown at minute 30 to Magaly Cortés for a boot to Andrea “Chata” Hernández’s right leg. That left the referee no remedy but to send her off.
After a brilliant first half, Zuazua put her name on the scoresheet from the penalty spot after a handball in the box five minutes into the second half.
Sumiko Gutiérrez showed the quality of her left foot when she scored a great goal, maybe one of the best of her career, mimicking English player Beth Mead’s famous CROTS (a combination between a cross and a shot).
Coach Martínez started to use her subs around minute 60, seeing the opponent showing no signs of recovering or closing the gap in the score.
Miriam García joined the fun and put Amaro to the test twice with two long distance shots that ended up being stopped by the goalkeeper. García didn’t find the back of the net in her debut with Bravas, but showed she can be a “secret” weapon that can be added to the attack when needed.
It was heartbreaking to see Juarez’s fifth, which was an own goal by Aideé Sosa. Mazatlán couldn’t catch a break in the entire game, not even when down 5-0 at 84’. But the beating didn’t end there since Bravas still had some gas in the tank.
Seoposenwe didn’t give up trying to put her name in the scoresheet during the entire game. Actually, she couldn’t score in Juárez's first big chance in the match at minute 4. Nonetheless, she got her revenge at the 89’ when Amaro stopped the initial shot by Perla Navarrete, but couldn’t get hold of the ball, leaving the South African with the perfect chance to tally the sixth goal of the match.
The final score was an emphatic 7-0, with Myra Delgadillo scoring her brace.
Juárez couldn’t start their season in a better way. Coach Milagros Martínez was clearly very proud of how her team played in this one, leaving the bulky result aside. It is worth noting that some of the players ran to the sideline to celebrate with the coach and the bench after scoring, which is always a good sign for any team that wants to achieve something special. Unity is always important in any team sport.
It is true that this is only the beginning of the season and Bravas faced one of the teams that have always struggled since its inception in the league. But that doesn’t mean that this Juárez can’t celebrate starting the year in such a way. They started something last season and they showed they want to continue developing their project in 2023. When coach Martínez was hired at the beginning of June, she was very honest about her work ethic and knew she had a big challenge ahead of her. But with hard work and taking pride in the organization she’s working for, things started to click for her and the team. Now, six months later, we can see Juárez's potential becoming a reality and the continuation of a project that, hopefully, will put them in their first liguilla this season. But let’s be patient and watch how this story develops.
Bravas will next hit the road to play Querétaro at Olímpico Alameda Stadium on January 13.