The Liguilla is underway Liga MX Femenil’s Clausura season!
The playoffs kicked off last week in thrilling fashion with lots of goals and plenty of controversy. As always with the Liguilla, matches were split into two legs, one home and one away for each team. There was one upset, with No. 5 Pachuca taking down No. 4 Chivas.
Meanwhile, also advancing with Pachuca are Tigres, Club América and CF Monterrey. Here’s a look at what happened in the Liguilla quarterfinals.
Tijuana surprises in Leg 1, sees red in Leg 2
Club Tijuana skirted into the playoffs with a major shock, beating Chivas in the final week of the regular season. Tijuana continued to thrive on momentum, earning a 2-0 win at home to CF Monterrey, Angelina Hix, the American striker, scored in the 31st minute after teammate Paola Villamizar slid the ball across the box to Hix for the tap-in. Right before the halftime whistle blew, Adyson Willet — another American, who played her college soccer at Cal State — scored a corner kick.
Tijuana went into Leg two with a 2-0 advantage on aggregate, and with confidence bursting. Entering the second match, on the road, Tijuana got an early start, thanks to Monica Alvarado’s header off a long free kick.
However, just seven minutes after scoring a big goal for her side, Alvarado received a red card. The call was a denial of a goal-scoring opportunity, and it went to VAR. After a lengthy check, a red card was shown and Tijuana were down to 10 players for the entire second half.
Monterrey started to pick up with the extra player advantage. In first-half stoppage time, Daniela Solis scored to pull Monterrey within two. However, in the second half, the floodgates opened. Rayadas had goals from Rebeca Bernal, two from Monica Monsivais, another goal from Solis and a final nail in the coffin from Aylin Avilez in second half stoppage time.
After the match, Alvarado said she was “disrespected as a player.”
“I thought the reason to have VAR was to improve decisions made on the field and create fair play,” Alvarado wrote in a statement on Twitter and Instagram. “There needs to be a change to have growth in women’s football. It needs to be better. I’m proud of what our team showed, we will keep our heads up high, and continue to grow and show who we are.”
With the win, Monterrey will move on to the semifinals and face Pachuca on May 25 and May 29.
Pachuca tops Chivas in thriller
If you ever want to talk thrilling matches, back-and-forth contests, then look no further than Pachuca Femenil. If you want a club that will keep your heart racing a mile a minute, then Tuzos is the club for you.
Pachuca saw themselves down 2-0 early in their first leg, home match, against Chivas de Guadalajara. This was a rematch of the Clausura 2022 Final, where Chivas defeated Pachuca for the trophy. And, just 10 minutes into their Leg 1 match, it looked like history would repeat itself. Quick goals from Damaris Godinez and Gaby Valenzuela put Chivas on the board early.
However, Pachuca is a team that doesn’t crack under pressure. Alice Soto pulled one back in the 20th minute with a screamer from the top of the box. Then, in the 43rd minute, Spanish international Jenni Hermoso scored coolly from the penalty spot to equalize as the teams went into the locker rooms.
In typical fashion, stoppage time was where the final tallies took place. Hermoso thought she earned the advantage with a goal in the 90’+1′ minute off a corner kick, taken by Golden Boot winner Charlyn Corral. However, two minutes later, Caro Jaramillo scored the equalizing goal in a six-goal game. Jaramillo found herself open in the box and, with one touch, put the ball past Esthefanny Barreras.
The second leg saw the same back and forth — at least early on. In the 44th minute, Diana Rodriguez scored an own goal, resulting in a Pachuca goal. However, opening the second half, Joseline Montoya made up for her teammate, scoring on a breakaway where three Chivas players faked out goalkeeper Barreras.
However, the second half belonged to Pachuca, with the game-winning goal being scored by Hermoso and a final tally added by Esbeydi Salazar. Pachuca upset their nemesis and move on to the Liguilla semifinals, where they will take on No. 1 Monterrey.
FC Juárez fell in first-ever Liguilla
FC Juárez shook up the table this Liga MX Femenil season, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Club América in the Liguilla. The lower ranked team always hosts the first match, and FC Juárez struggled to contain América at home, losing 1-3 in Leg 1.
Alison González found herself back to hitting her scoring stride, kicking things off with a 9th minute goal off a low free kick that skirted through almost every player inside the box. Kiana Palacios added a goal in the 40th minute to give Club América a nice lead before halftime.
Andrea Hernandez did pull one back for Juárez in the 71st minute, but another América goal from Jocelyn Orejel in the 92nd minute gave Juárez a major mountain to climb in Leg 2. Juárez couldn’t find their footing on the road and lost the second leg. , 5-1.
The big storyline in the Leg 2 matchup was González herself, as she hit 100 Liga MX Femenil goals. González scored twice in the win, but it was her second goal in the 69th minute, off another free kick, that was goal no. 100. To measure, González is only 21-years-old, born in 2002. She has played in Liga MX Femenil since Apertura 2018, when she spent one season with Tigres. She joined Atlas before leaving in Apertura 2022 to join América.
Other goals in Leg 2 were scored by Palacios, Andrea Pereira and Andrea Falcon. FC Juárez did get a consolation goal from Mexican-American Jasmine Casarez.
Tigres dominates, and blanks, Atlas
Tigres showed off their dominance to kick off the Liguilla in stellar fashion. Not only did they put up five goals on the road, but altogether Tigres won their quarterfinal matchup against Atlas by scoring seven goals, and keeping a clean sheet.
Lizbeth Ovalle was the MVP of the quarterfinals, scoring a hat trick in Leg 1. She scored twice in the first half of the first leg, and then once in the second half of the same match. Her first goal took an incredible amount of skill, chipping it at a difficult angle in goal.
In the first leg, Belen Cruz and Maricarmen Reyes added goals, as well. In Leg 2, Atlas were able to hold Tigres to only two at home, scored by Liliana Mercado and Stephany Mayor.
Atlas are out of the playoffs, but Tigres will go on to the semifinals and face Club América.
Liga MX Clausura 2023 | Liguilla Semifinals
*All times are Eastern Time Zone.
Friday, May 26: Club América hosts Tigres at 9 PM
Friday, May 26: Pachuca hosts CF Monterrey at 11 PM
Monday, May 29: Tigres hosts Club América at 9 PM
Monday, May 29: CF Monterrey hosts Pachuca at 11 PM