I’m always hopeful that new rivalries will emerge in Liga MX Femenil. Of course there will always be the Clásico Nacional (whichever matchup you think that is) as well as other historic rivalries like the Clásico Capitalino, but watching a new rivalry born out of nothing more than sheer sporting rivalry is a thing to behold.
Tijuana and Juárez seem like they could be a perfect fit for such a rivalry. They have proximity to the United States in common as well as recently climbing out of the lower echelon of teams to be expected to make the Liguilla, albeit this season for the first time for Juárez. Both teams play like they have something to prove, which makes their games entertaining and the teams dangerous, and personally I root for those sorts of teams to make good on their promise.
Game of the Week
Club Tijuana 1, FC Juárez 1
Two of the league’s more upstart teams faced off and it was as good as advertised. They matched up really well and went into the half in a scoreless tie. After a soft foul by Juárez just outside of the box, Mónica Alvarado put the hosts up in the 53rd minute on a free kick that made its way through traffic and past Stefi Jiménez. But Juárez kept coming and in the 90th minute earned a penalty. Miah Zuazua stepped up and converted it to draw the sides level. In stoppage, Zuazua went to throw the ball in and it was knocked away by Angelina Hix, starting a confrontation on the sidelines that saw both players shown a red card. The players apologized to their teams and fans afterward, but it was a feisty end to an entertaining game between two very good teams. It will be very interesting to see if these teams get to face each other again in the Liguilla. Let’s hope they do.
América 3, Club Atlético de San Luis 0
América rested a lot of their first-choice players due to a lot of them playing for the national team two days before and having a friendly outside of Seattle, WA two days later, but they still managed to beat San Luis, 3-0. San Luis looked good to start, but took the lead when Katty Martínez headed in the rebound of a Casandra Cuevas shot that hit off of the crossbar. San Luis still kind of held their own until the 32nd minute, when Sarah Luebbert headed in a Montserrat Hernández cross into the box. Then in first-half stoppage time, Sabrina Enciso hit a ball into the box that Aurelie Kaci got a touch on to make it 3-0. After the half América kept pressing, but San Luis goalkeeper Nicole Buenfil put on a clinic and was able to keep things from getting further out of hand.
Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 2, León 2
This was a good game between two fairly even teams. Dani Calderón converted a free kick from just outside of the 18-yard-box in the 19th minute, and that lead held into the second half. In the 54th minute, Jazmín Enrigue got onto a Lía Morán free kick from just outside of the box for the equalizer. It looked like Calderón might have won it for León in the 82nd minute with a shot from the top of the box that tucked inside the near post, but as the clock was about to hit the 90 minute mark there was a miscommunication between Blanca Muñóz and goalkeeper Ángeles Martínez, with Muñóz heading the ball back toward Martínez who had come outside of the box to clear the ball. Martínez got a hand on the ball but could only slow it down and Fabiola Santamaría was able to knock it in to salvage a point for Querétaro.
UNAM Pumas 4, Santos Laguna 1
A statement win from Pumas as they down Santos 4-1 in CU. Paola Chavero took advantage of a defensive breakdown in the 18th minute to hit a long range shot into an empty net. Santos pulled level in the 35th minute when they took advantage of some confusion on a quick restart and Sofía Varela knocked one in past Melany Villeda. Chavero got a brace in the 56th minute, getting played past the defense on a great overhead kick from Marylin Díaz and hitting a great shot past Paola Calderón. Dirce Delgado got an insurance goal in the 74th minute, heading a great cross in from Dinora Garza.
Puebla FC 0, Toluca 2
Toluca gets their first win of the season, downing Puebla 2-0 in Puebla. Former River Plate midfielder Vanessa Penuna got her first goal in Liga MX Femenil in the 35th minute, banking a shot from outside of the box in off of the far post. Penuna assisted on the second goal of the game, threading a pass into the box that Brenda Woch tapped in past Karla Morales in the 55th minute to seal the win. It’s been a tough season for both teams, but for Toluca this win could help them segue into an easier stretch of the season where they’ll face Pumas, San Luis, Santos, Mazatlán, and Necaxa, all of whom are currently out of the Liguilla race.
Atlas 1, Cruz Azul 0
Itzayana González put in a good performance in goal for Cruz Azul in her 100th appearance, but it wasn’t enough as Atlas won, 1-0. González got the start for Gabriela Machuca, who suffered a muscle strain in her left thigh in training before the match. Brenda Ceren notched the game’s only goal, hitting a laser from the right side of the box. The win for Atlas pushes them up and over Cruz Azul (and Tijuana) into the Liguilla zone.
Rayadas de Monterrey 3, Necaxa 0
No real surprise as Monterrey easily downed Necaxa at home. Chinwendu Ihezuo got her first goal in Liga MX Femenil since joining from Meizhou Hakka in the 16th minute, heading in a cross from Christina Burkenroad. Burkenroad scored one of her own four minutes later, getting onto the end of a brilliant through ball from Carlee Giammona. Rebeca Bernal put it further out of reach in the 31st minute, heading in a corner kick off of the hands of Valeria Martínez. Rayadas cruised in the second half, keeping Necaxa at bay enough to earn Alex Godínez her first clean sheet in her first match of the season. Necaxa has lost all seven games so far this season, scoring just twice while allowing 22 goals, and for context their last win was against Querétaro in August 2022.
Mazatlán FC 0, Guadalajara 6
Mazatlán’s woes continue, suffering a 6-0 thumping by Chivas at home in front of 1,142 fans. Joseline Montoya scored first in the 38th minute on a golazo from the top of the box. Montoya then assisted on Caro Jaramillo’s first of the evening in the 47th, playing a great give-and-go that Jaramillo hit in stride into the far top corner. A minute later, a corner kick went through the hands of goalkeeper Fer Tarango and was knocked in by Karen Hernández for an autogol. Dr. Adriana “Boyi” Iturbide then headed in a great cross from Rubí Soto in the 63rd, and Jaramillo got her brace in the 81st on a great cross from Jaramillo. Finally, Kenya García’s sliding attempt to stop a cross wound up in the back of the net for a second autogol of the evening for Mazatlán.
Pachuca 2, Tigres UANL 1
Pachuca and Tigres battled hard, but Pachuca took an early lead and never looked back, downing Tigres 2-1 at Estadio Hidalgo. Jenni Hermoso had a fantastic goal in the 7th minute, beating Ceci Santiago to the near post with a shot that Santiago slowed down but could not stop. Charlyn Corral then got onto a great ball from Alice Soto, racing past the defense and beating Santiago to make it 2-0 in the 32nd minute. Tigres fought and fought, but just couldn’t connect on anything until Nancy Antonio knocked in a loose free kick in stoppage time for a consolation goal.
International friendly results
OL Reign 3, América 1
After dispatching San Luis, América flew to Seattle to face OL Reign as part of their new partnership with Reign and Olympique Lyonnais. The match was frigid, with temperatures hovering around freezing and the threat of light snow ever present. Both teams looked good, but OL Reign took the lead on a fantastic golazo by Tziarra King in the 11th minute. Just before halftime, Kim Rodríguez committed an own goal to put América down 2-0. “Súper” Kiana Palacios pulled América within one in the 74th minute, but McKenzie Weinert hit a fantastic shot from a tough angle as the clock approached 90 minutes to seal the win for the hosts. June Ash Eden did a fantastic write-up for Sounder At Heart, which you should read.