I thought when watching the Clásico Tapatío that nothing could top it for the game of the week. The action was fast and furious, and though Atlas wilted in the second half, it was still a close game in front of 22,000 people.
Then Pachuca vs. América kicked off.
I made the mistake of using the first few seconds of the match to get myself a snack for the game, and missed the opening goal. By the 20th minute, it was 3-2 and while no more goals were scored it was really why I love this league in a microcosm. While anything can happen in a lot of leagues, anything regularly happens in this one. The match was chaotic and fun, which is my kind of soccer.
And if the game itself wasn’t enough, this photo of a little girl holding up a jersey with “Katy [sic] Killer TQM” on it went viral.
It got the attention of her hero.
I love this league so much.
Game of the Week
Pachuca 2, América 3
This game was absolute madness from the start. Natalia Mauleon scored the first goal just 17 seconds into the match, playing a great give-and-go with Katty “Killer” Martínez and beating former América goalkeeper Renata Masciarelli. Jenni Hermoso tied it up in the 5th minute, hitting a fantastic arcing shot from the top of the box. Karen Díaz gave Pachuca the lead in the 9th minute, knocking in a corner kick that Itzel González got her hands on but couldn’t control. But América tied it up in the 15th when Katty Killer got a wide open header in the box. Andrea Pereira put América back up in the 18th minute, converting a penalty after an América player was tackled from behind in the box. The scoring stopped, in part because the goalkeepers started getting in on the highlight reels. González made a great save in the 30th minute, and then in the 40th Masciarelli made two fantastic saves in a row. The saves continued in the second half, with Masciarelli making a leaping stop on a shot from Sarah Luebbert that looked destined for the back of the net. Both teams had chances, and both teams’ goalkeepers rose to the occasion, and while both were deserving of points only América took any on the evening, leapfrogging Pachuca and Tigres into third place.
FC Juárez 0, Rayadas de Monterrey 2
A tough match for Juárez, losing their first match at home since August 28th to Rayadas. While Juárez definitely missed Miah Zuazua on the left, Rayadas played them well and were deserved winners. Chinwendu Ihezuo put Rayadas up in the 12th minute, getting onto a great pass from Alejandra Calderón that Christina Burkenroad dummied and Carlee Giammona scuffed. Juárez had some good chances, for instance Jasmine Casarez’s shot from inside the box in the 16th minute that went just high, and Blanca Solís’ shot after evading two defenders and getting into the box that just missed wide in the 17th. A minute later Andrea Sánchez hit a shot from deep that was misplayed by Claudia Lozoya, hitting off of the crossbar. Only a good play from the defense prevented Solís from knocking it in. Casarez had another good shot in the 25th that went just wide of the net. In the 41st minute Burkenroad got her second assist of the evening, slotting a ball over to Rebeca Bernal for her third goal of the season. Casarez hit a shot through traffic in the 43rd that Calderón read perfectly and stopped. Blanca Solís had a shot a minute later that was also stopped. Juárez just simply couldn’t get one back despite having a couple more decent opportunities in the second half. Rayadas remains unbeaten while the Bravalácticas fall to sixth at the end of the week.
Cruz Azul 1, Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 1
Cruz Azul goalkeeper Itzayana González put on a show, stopping almost everything that came her way as La Máquina drew Querétaro 1-1 at La Noria. Marta Alemany also held down her end for Querétaro, but Renata Huerta’s header in the 78th gave the home side the lead. Just when it looked like they were keeping all three points, Leidy Ramos poked home a free kick that wasn’t properly cleared to salvage a point for Gallos.
Puebla F.C. 1, Mazatlán FC 0
Puebla picked up their second win of the season, downing Mazatlán, 1-0. The home side was the better side throughout the match, and only a couple of big saves from goalkeeper Jennifer Amaro kept it from being a runaway. Brenda García got the game’s lone goal in the 76th minute, getting a header off of a free kick moments after being subbed on.
Club Atlético de San Luis 0, Club Tijuana 0
Both teams had opportunities but netither could capitalize as San Luis and Tijuana ended in a scoreless draw. Dani Carrandi hit the post in the 18th minute, and there was a bit of controversy in the 78th when it looked like Karen Cano handled the ball which would have given Xolos Femenil a penalty, but beyond that both Siena Ruelas and Nicole Buenfil played great games, getting their respective second and first clean sheets of the season.
Guadalajara 2, Atlas 1
The Clásico Tapatío almost never disappoints, and this one was no exception. Chivas had two chances cleared off of the line, first in the 13th minute when Janeth Hernández ran into the post clearing a shot by Dr. Adriana “Boyi” Iturbide and then 24th when Arlett Tovar cleared a deflected shot from Iturbide. Atlas then managed to draw first blood in the 38th minute when Fer Limón knocked in a loose rebound off of a corner kick. The lead wouldn’t last long however, and in the 43rd minute Gabi Valenzuela hit a great shot from the top of the box past Ana Gaby Paz to draw the sides level. It looked like Iturbide finally got her goal in the stoppage time heading into the second half, but it was controversially ruled offside. Finally in the 50th minute the doctor was in, as Iturbide knocked in a great cross from Valenzuela for her fourth goal of the season. Despite needing a goal to equalize, Atlas never really threatened again and Chivas moved into second place on the table.
Tigres UANL 4, León 1
A solid win for Tigres, who wound up giving minutes to some players who don’t always get them. Belén Cruz, who was starting in place of Stefany Mayor, put Tigres up in the 7th minute with a ridiculous goal, punctuating her 200th appearance. Mia Fishel got her sixth goal of the season in the 22nd minute, getting sprung on a great pass from deep from Maricarmen Reyes. Tigres had several chances but despite the final score, goalkeeper Ángeles Martínez played a decent game, making quite a few good saves. Reyes had been pulling the strings all game long and was rewarded with her fourth goal of the season in the 58th minute, benefiting off of a great run by Jackie Ovalle and a strange deflection in the box by a León defender. León drew one back in the 65th when Briana Woodall got onto a great pass from deep and got her first goal in Liga MX Femenil. But it wasn’t nearly enough, and Riley Mattingly added an insurance goal in stoppage time, her first as a professional, as Tigres picked up their first win after two consecutive losses for the first time ever.
Toluca 0, UNAM Pumas 0
Both teams struggled to get good, meaningful chances and the teams ended in a 0-0 draw. Toluca goalkeeper Kayla Thompson made a series of crucial saves in the 35th minute, literally stopping Chandra Eigenberger’s shot while prone and with a teammate tangled up with her. Both Thompson and Melany Villeda did well, stopping what was presented to them, with Thompson registering her second shutout of the season and Villeda her first.
Santos Laguna 3, Necaxa 0
Necaxa’s woes continued as Santos ended their six game winless streak. Santos looked robbed of a chance early in the match when a clear handball in the box wasn’t called. Necaxa then had a couple of good chances in the first half but couldn’t convert on them. Santos then got very similar goals from Alexxandra Ramírez in the 64th and Sofía Varela in the 73rd, when free kicks from about 20-25 yards outside of the box on Santos’ left flank were whipped into the box. Ramírez’s goal was headed in directly, while Varela’s stayed in the mixer for seemingly an eternity before she poked it home. Alexia Villanueva rounded out the scoring, notching her fifth of the season in the 79th by fighting for a ball in the box during the run of play. The win moves Santos into 13th place, tied with Pumas at 8 points but behind on goal differential. Necaxa, meanwhile, is 0-0-8 and at -25 goal differential for the season.