History repeats itself in Liga MX Women.
In the first ever season of women’s national competition in Mexico, at Apertura 2017, Chivas de Guadalajara beat Pachuca for the first ever Liga MX Femenil title. Since then, Chivas has played in two Liga MX Femenil finals, and Pachuca has not made a comeback.
That is, until now.
Pachuca and Chivas won their respective matches against CF Monterrey and Tigres – ironically, the two teams that made the Apertura final last fall – and advanced to the final with two legs. Find out how they did it and what you should expect in the Liga MX Femenil Clausura final!
Pachuca (3), CF Monterrey (2)
Pachuca stunned Club America in the quarter-finals and now the No. 5 Tuzos have upset the No. 1 seed CF Monterrey in the semi-finals. Monterrey won the Liga MX Femenil Apertura in the fall but will not be aiming for the double victory in the Clausura. Instead, Pachuca will be looking to win their first-ever title this weekend.
Charlyn Corral scored both goals in the first leg, as Pachuca picked up a shutout victory – not an easy achievement against Monterrey, who scored 51 goals in Clausura’s regular season. Corral’s first count, in the 20th minute, saw her wide open on the left side and smashed through two defenders – Rebeca Bernal and Valeria del Campo – to shoot at an extremely difficult angle past Alex Godinez.
Corral’s second goal came from another difficult angle, shooting outside the box on the right. Corral sprinted past her defender and scored the shot again against Del Campo, beating the Costa Rican twice in the match.
On the road to the second leg, Esbeydi Salazar scored a third goal on aggregate to beat Rayadas. Monterrey netted goals in the 48th and 57th minute from Yamile Franco and Bernal respectively, but Salazar’s open shot into the box gave Tuzos the lead on aggregate.
Pachuca has been the dark horse throughout the Liga MX Femenil season. They had a major acquisition with Corral joining the club in 2021 after spells in Europe, the last with Atlético Madrid. Corral finished the regular season with 13 goals, finishing second to Chivas’ Alicia Cervantes in the Golden Boot race. His leadership and European experience carried this team and propelled them to their second Liga MX Femenil final.
Chivas (2), Tigers (2)
Let’s get rid of the rules discussion first. Chivas qualified for the Liga MX Femenil final based on the aggregate score alone. There was no need for penalty shootouts or extra time to decide who would move on. In Liga MX Femenil, if the score remains tied, overall, after stage 2, the team with the highest ranking advances to the next round. In a way, that’s a lot of incentive for good performances in the regular season.
Chivas sat in the No. 2 seed (43 points), while Tigres was right behind in the No. 3 (39 points).
Each match ended with the same score of 2-0. The Tigers won the first leg at home, while Chivas came back on aggregate and also won 2-0 at home.
In the first set, Mia Fishel scored in the 62nd minute. The American smashed a header, perfectly delivered by captain Stephany Mayor, in front of a diving Blanca Félix. In the 77th minute, Nigeria international Uchenna Kanu netted 23 goals from a header of her own, also assisted by the mayor. Kanu jumped over his defender and narrowly passed the ball past Felix.
Stage 2 started with the Tigres scaring Chivas at home with plenty of attacking attempts in the first half. Just before the half-time whistle, Karol Bernal was the unlikely hero to score a header from a free-kick, which was sent over the wall by Joseline Montoya. In the second half, Chivas got their equalizer – on aggregate – from Kinberly Guzmán in the 86th minute. Guzmán, on a perfectly placed ball from Caro Jaramillo, barely put his toes on the ball to get past Tigres goalkeeper Aurora Santiago.
Liga MX Femenil Gran Final Preview
Pachuca are the underdog here, while Chivas are a much more experienced team in the Grand Final. La Liguilla – and the regular season – have been very kind to Alicia Cervantes and Charlyn Corral. However, while Tigres had no problem shutting down Cervantes in the semi-finals, Monterrey couldn’t do the task against Corral. His goals were worthy of highlighting, and Chivas is going to have his hands full.
Pachuca hosts the first leg, while Chivas will take on hosting duties for the second game. History saw Chivas win the first-ever Liga MX Femenil title in 2017, and now Pachuca are set to rewrite history in their favour.
Of course, Corral and Cervantes are the players to watch in this game, but keep an eye on the goalkeepers as well. Blanca Félix edged out Celeste Espino in the Clausura for the starting job at Chivas and has thrived in that role. She pulled off a superb save against Pumas in the second leg of the quarter-final. Meanwhile, for Pachuca, Esthefanny Barreras enjoyed a strong Clausura campaign.
It’s hard to pick a winner in this one. Part of me wants to choose Chivas based on experience, but if you know me – and have seen my March Madness parentheses on Twitter for the past few years – you know it’s impossible for me to root against an underdog. If Corral and Pachuca lift the Liga MX Femenil table, it would be a big change to see the same three teams win. And, realistically, I believe they can.
Liga MX Femenil Gran Final Closing 2022
Step 1 : Pachuca hosts Chivas de Guadalajara on Friday, May 20 at 10 p.m. ET. There is no streaming available in the US, as no network/service has rights for Pachuca.
2nd step : Chivas de Guadalajara hosts Pachuca on Monday, May 23 at 9 p.m. ET. The match will be available on Chivas TV and on Telemundo Deportes (streaming).