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Liga MX Femenil, Clausura Week 16: Atlas clinches, two spots remain ahead of regular season finale

FC Juárez, Toluca, Club Tijuana and UNAM Pumas are still in contention

Photo: Liga MX Femenil.

And then there were two.

Liga MX Femenil results were head-turning for a few teams, and disappointing for some as the fight for the final slew of playoff spots continued. Atlas clinched the sixth playoff spot, thanks to a major 3-2 upset win over C.F. Monterrey.

Now, two spots remain, and there are four teams that will fight for admission to the Liguilla in Week 17. We’ll focus on those four teams — FC Juárez, Toluca, Club Tijuana and UNAM Pumas — and what they need to do to win.

What happened in Week 16?

FC Juárez and UNAM Pumas put themselves in good position to punch their ticket to the Liguilla. Club Tijuana, on the other hand, did more damage than help in their quest. Toluca did nothing wrong, but their Week 17 match isn’t favorable, but we’ll get to that.

Juárez had been on a terrible run of form lately, having not picked up a win since March 17. In Week 16, they took on Necaxa, a near-bottom-of-the-table team. FC Juárez didn’t win in a stellar fashion, but they did enough to get the job done, with a goal in the 9th minute from Jasmine Casarez. Thanks to the win, Juárez jumped up to seventh place with 25 points and a goal differential of +9.

Meanwhile, UNAM Pumas have been on a hot streak, winning three games in a row. Before that, Pumas had two draws, earning a few points along the way. The massive jump for Pumas cannot be ignored. Just a few weeks ago, they were sitting in the middle of the table, with the playoffs seeming impossible to reach. Right now, they sit in 10th place, but they have one of the clearest paths to make the playoffs.

In Week 16, Pumas picked up their third win in a row, on the road, against Atlético San Luis. Early goals from Kimberli Gómez — including a cheeky little chip over goalkeeper Nicole Buenfil for her second tally — helped pull Pumas ahead in just 15 minutes. Luz Duarte added a third goal in the first half. For San Luis, Daniela Carrandi picked up the consolation goal.

Toluca is another side looking to punch their ticket to the Liguilla. Against a struggling Cruz Azul side, Mariel Román scored the game-winning goal in the 24th minute to secure three points. Toluca sits in 8th place, as of now, which is the final playoff spot.

Then there’s Club Tijuana, who have been stuck in a rut for the past four weeks. A team that has struggled with consistency, Tijuana picked up two draws and suffered two losses in the last four matches. However, they still sat in a playoff spot. That ended this week, as they now drop to ninth place, with 23 points.

Tijuana lost, on the road, against Club León. Briana Woodall scored in the 38th minute to give the home side the lead. However, Daniela Espinosa scored the equalizing goal in the 72nd minute, off a shot inside the box, with one defender running at her side. However, that hope was squashed just two minutes later when Yashira Barrientos scored the game-winning León goal.

How the final two Liguilla spots can be clinched

Right now, the table has four teams with a chance to make the Liguilla. Instead of doing one large table for the league, here is what 7th through 10th place looks like.

TeamWinsDrawsLossesGoals AllowedGoal DifferentialPoints
7. FC Juárez74519925
8. Toluca74522025
9. Club Tijuana65528-623
10. UNAM Pumas57420722

Here is how each team could punch their ticket to the playoffs.

FC Juárez: Win and you’re in. FC Juárez has a favorable matchup in Week 17, taking on 16th-place Puebla, at Juárez’s home grounds. If Juárez were to draw, they still have a strong chance of making the playoffs, as they have a better goal differential than Tijuana (by a large margin), and the most points Pumas can earn are 25. The best-case scenario is to win, but a draw could suffice — especially with Tijuana’s matchup. But, as we saw this weekend with Monterrey losing to Atlas… anything can happen.

Game: Friday, May 12, at 9:06 PM ET.

Toluca: Another situation of win and you’re in. However, it’s not as cut-and-dry. Toluca has a much tougher matchup than FC Juárez does, with Club América coming to town. Liga MX Femenil isn’t a league where teams sit players out if they make the playoffs, similar to how the NFL commonly sits starting or star players out in the regular-season finale. América still, after all, can fight for the first-place spot. They’ll be starting their star players, like Kiana Palacios and Alison Gonzalez. If Toluca ties, they’ll have 26 points, but their goal differential is at 0, which isn’t as good as Juárez. But, like a broken record, Tijuana doesn’t have a favorable matchup, so it could work out. Toluca will be glued to the TV if they draw.

Game: Friday, May 12, at 7:00 PM ET.

Club Tijuana: The worst thing Club Tijuana could do in Week 16 was lose, and they did that. Now, heading into Week 17, they have one of the toughest matchups: Chivas de Guadalajara. Tijuana doesn’t have a great goal differential, either (-6). They need to win to have a chance. Even then, they would need some help from either Toluca or Juárez to lose. Draws wouldn’t help Tijuana, due to Xolos‘ goal differential. A lot of dominoes need to fall for Tijuana to be a Liguilla-bound team.

Game: Friday, May 12, at 11:10 PM ET.

UNAM Pumas: The team sitting in 10th place has one of the best matchups in Week 17. Pumas has the most favorable regular-season finale matchup, taking on 17th-place Necaxa. If Pumas wins, they’ll have 25 points, so they will need a win and also Toluca to either draw or lose. Pumas has a +7 goal differential, which is better than the 0 GD for Toluca. Pumas will have their eyes glued, on Friday, to Toluca’s game, primarily. If Toluca loses or draws, expect Pumas to come out in an aggressive attacking formation to earn the final playoff spot.

Game: Saturday, May 13, at 2 PM ET.

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Liga MX Femenil, Clausura 2023: Golden Boot Watch

Charlyn Corral is running away with the Golden Boot race. For the last few weeks, she’s been neck-at-neck with her teammate, and good friend, Jenni Hermoso. However, in Pachuca’s 4-4 draw against Chivas, Corral scored two goals to pull herself ahead. In fact, Corral set a Liga MX Femenil regular-season record with 19 goals, so far, this season. She has the chance to further that record and hit the 20-mark on May 15 against Atlético San Luis.

Top Liga MX Femenil Clausura 2023 Goal Scorers

  1. Charlyn Corral, Pachuca: 19
  2. Jenni Hermoso, Pachuca: 17
  3. Christina Burkenroad, C.F. Monterrey: 13
  4. Mia Fishel, Tigres: 12
  5. Kiana Palacios, Club América: 12
  6. Alicia Cervantes, Chivas: 10
  7. María Mauleon, Club América: 8
  8. Renae Cuéllar, Club Tijuana: 8
  9. Carolina Jaramillo, Chivas: 7
  10. Lizbeth Ovalle, Tigres: 7

Looking Ahead: Clausura 2023 | Week 17

*All Times in Eastern Time.

Friday, May 12: Toluca vs. Club América at 7 PM

Friday, May 12: Pachuca vs. Cruz Azul at 7:05 PM

Friday, May 12: UANL Tigres vs. Santos Laguna at 9 PM (ViX+)

Friday, May 12: FC Juárez vs. Puebla at 9:06 PM

Friday, May 12: Club Tijuana vs. Chivas de Guadalajara at 11:10 PM

Saturday, May 13: UNAM Pumas vs. Necaxa at 2 PM

Monday, May 15: Mazatlán vs. Querétaro at 9 PM

Monday, May 15: Atlas vs. Club León at 9:05 PM

Monday, May 15: C.F. Monterrey vs. Atlético San Luis at 11 PM

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