With the semi-finals of the top flight of Mexican women’s football played over the past week, Impetus’ Jorge Ceron rounds up all the action (19/5/22).
Above: Charlyn Corral celebrates one of her goals for Pachuca. Photo: @Tuzosfemenil
In the still very young Mexican women’s soccer league, there are two teams that stand out for being the most successful, Tigres de la UANL with their four league titles and three runner-up finishes in the eight league tournaments, and the Rayadas del Monterey with two titles and three sub-championships.
These two teams along with Chivas de Guadalajara (winners of the first league in history) and Tuzas de Pachuca (runners-up in the first league in history) would be the protagonists of the prelude to the final of the Clausura 2022 Tournament.
Rayadas Monterrey (1) vs Pachuca Women (4)
The first leg was played at Hidalgo stadium in the capital of Hidalgo, Pachuca, a city where according to several historians the first soccer game was played in Mexico, a sport brought by the English miners. The favourites and champions Rayadas arrived to face a team with high morale after eliminating the Eagles of America.
The game ended 2-0 in favour of Pachuca, a score that put the champions against the wall, but the result was secondary. The important thing in this game was the pair of goals scored by Charlin Corral, both goals worthy of being in a museum!
Corral has not been called up to the national team for a long time for reasons outside of soccer. Let’s hope for the good of the Mexican team to see her in July in the qualifiers for Australia / New Zealand 2023, since she brings a superlative level of play. The qualifying tournament of CONCACAF will provide for direct tickets to the World Cup with two nations getting a second chance in playoffs. The qualifying tournament will take place in Monterrey.
Back to the second leg of this semi. Monterrey needed to win by two goals to advance to the final and continue with the dream of bi-championship. In the first half, Monterrey tried but could not score until the 48th minute when Yamile Franco brought the game closer with a great goal. Rayadas went with everything and got a reward by obtaining a penalty. Captain Rebeca Bernal scored on 57 minutes. This tied it up on aggregate. However, in the next play, Viridiana Salazar silenced the stadium to put the visitors 3-2 ahead on aggregate. Rayadas went in search of the goal that would save them, but they could not get it anymore, the champions were eliminated.
Chivas Guadalajara (2) vs. UANL Tigres (3)
This was the duel of the undefeated. Neither of these teams lost throughout the season. The UANL team arrived with only one loss in its last 63 games and looking for its 8th consecutive final. The first leg was played at the Universitario stadium in the state of Nuevo León. Tigres Femenil entered to a huge welcome.
Both teams were nervy. Chivas with a great defense, combined this with several shots as they tried to take the game to Guadalajara. But the goal did not come. It was not until the 62nd minute when the American Mia Fishel scored the first goal of the game for Tigres. The second goal came, the work of Uchenna Kanu who scored her 12th goal in Mexico in just 19 games, stats that have earned a call up for her country to play the African Cup of Nations in July, hosted by Morocco.
Tigres were not able to get a third, but even so, they took a very important advantage for the second leg in Guadalajara. It must be mentioned that in this game Lizbeth Ovalle, one of the most important players for Tigres, was injured. Casandra Montero from Chivas also left due to discomfort.
In the return game, Chivas needed something more than complicated. The visitors had played more than 100 games without losing by that amount. Tigres were just about to score the first, but a heavenly intervention by Angelica Torres prevented it, in the same way Carolina Jaramillo saved a shot on the line with her head.
A goal finally came two minutes before the break when Karol Bernal scored with a header and made the Chivas dream. It was her first career goal. The second half was nervy for both teams, if Chivas dedicated themselves to defending themselves in the first game, Tigres did the same this time. When it seemed that Tigres would reach its eighth consecutive final, with four minutes left, Kimberly Guzman scored the second for the hosts – a goal that gave them the pass to the final. Chivas eliminated the favourites Tigres.
The final will be Chivas vs. Pachuca. The games will be on Saturday at 3am UK time and on Tuesday at 2am in the UK.