By Jorge Ceron (26/5/22)
Above: Chivas lift the 2022 Clausura title. Photo: @LigaBBVAFemenil
Mexican women’s soccer has a champion for its Clausura 2022 tournament, the Chivas Rayadas del Guadalajara.
It’s the second title in their history and concludes a brilliant season which saw them achieve several notable statistics. They had the strongest defence in the history of a regular season with only six goals conceded. They also remained undefeated throughout the regular season, and have in their ranks the two-time top scorer, Alicia Cervantes.
Monday night’s second leg was magical, and approximately 40,000 people at the Akron stadium, in Zapopan, Jalisco, witnessed Chivas seal the title after defeating Pachuca over two legs. But they didn’t have it all their own way.
The first leg was played at the Hidalgo stadium in Pachuca. This was a classic match in which both teams entered ready to strike the first blow. The first goal was scored on 27 minutes when Viridiana Salazar, after being played in via a brilliant pass Ruth Bravo pass put the hosts in front. However, home advantage was limited as visiting Chivas fans made up at least half of the crowd. They have long been the most supported men’s team in Mexico. That is transferring to women’s football now. Before the end of the first half, both sides had opportunities to score, but the scoreboard did not move.
The whirlwind of goals arrived in the second half. Just four minutes in, Gabriela Valenzuela arrived to level the scores for Chivas. Yet, almost immediately the Gophers got back on the scoreboard with a goal from Mónica Ocampo. It was the same player who scored the next after registering an own goal in a corner kick that at first seemed to be an Olympico goal by Carolina Jaramillo after 71 minutes. Carolina Jaramillo, ten minutes from the end, then stepped up to provide an excellent pass for Alicia Cervantes to score with a good header. Things got even better at the death as Cervantes dispatched a penalty to give Chivas a two-goal advantage after their away leg.
The second game was a total party, but with its moments of anguish, 40,000 people gathered to see the crowning of champions Chivas. Although the hosts of the second leg were the team with the better opportunities, it was the visitors who went ahead, reducing the aggregate difference to just one on the hour mark. Lizbeth Angeles scored the goal that gave hope. Things got even better for the visitors when they were awarded a penalty. Charlyn Corral prepared herself, but goalkeeper Blanca Félix became a legend by saving the penalty and causing huge delight to all the fans. Nothing happened in the final minutes, which allowed Chivas to secure the title, the second in its history.