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Liga MX Femenil, Clausura Week 17: Tijuana overcomes Chivas for final playoff spot

In the final push for playoff spots, Tijuana clinched with a miracle win, while FC Juárez are heading to their first-ever Liguilla. Also, Charlyn Corral wins the Golden Boot in style.

Photo: Club Tijuana Femenil.

Liga MX Femenil has its final eight teams clinched and ready for the Liguilla. The regular season wrapped up this past weekend with some major plot twists in the race for the final Liguilla spots, and the competition for first place.

The final two playoff spots were up for grabs heading into Week 17. FC Juárez had one of the best chances to clinch, with a favorable matchup against Puebla.

An early goal in the 5th minute from Andrea Hernández gave Juárez the quick lead at home. In the 14th minute, María Sánchez — yes, same name; no, not the same as the Houston Dash’s midfielder María Sánchez — scored off a major goalkeeper error from Evelyn Torres on a free kick.

FC Juárez made history with the result, clinching their first-ever ticket to the Liguilla. Las Bravas was founded on June 11, 2019, and played their first Liga MX Femenil match a month later. This season, the club is led by manager Mila Martínez, who was appointed ahead of the 2022 Apertura. Last season, Juárez finished in 11th place, a major improvement from their Clausura 2022 finish: last place.

The turnaround has been nothing short of stellar. FC Juárez picked up eight wins this season, kicking off the Clausura with a three-game winning streak. With a bit of rust toward the tail end of the regular season, Juárez picked up a Week 16 win against Necaxa to put them in good position to qualify in Week 17.

One team that didn’t give themselves the best scenario was Club Tijuana. However, Xolos Femenil did what many — including the author — thought was impossible. Not only did Tijuana qualify for the Liguilla, but they did it with a late, second-half stoppage time game-winner against Chivas.

Chivas was in the battle for first place — more on that below — and didn’t rest their core group of starters. Only Alicia Cervantes did not dress. However, Chivas still had Caro Jaramillo, Gaby Valenzuela and Joseline Montoya, among others, start on the road.

It was Daniela Espinosa that was the hero for Xolos, who narrowly punched their ticket to the Liguilla. Her game-winning tally came two minutes into second-half stoppage time, off a volley to the low corner of the net. The ball was perfectly flicked over two defenders by American forward Angelina Hix.

Tijuana making the playoffs is going to be a success, as it should. However, the team has experienced a dip in form recently. Just a few months ago in the Apertura, Tijuana finished in fifth place, one of their stronger regular-season endings. A win against a strong Chivas side, though, will certainly give Tijuana hope going into a tough quarterfinal contest against Monterrey.

Monterrey takes first place

FC Juárez and Club Tijuana joined six other clubs that previously qualified for the Liguilla. However, despite their qualification earlier in the season, there was still a shuffling of places on the table. Club América jumped from fifth place to third, ahead of Chivas and Pachuca.

On Friday, it seemed like no one could take first place away from Tigres. Despite it being the final week of the regular season, Tigres did not pull back any punches against Santos Laguna, scoring nine goals at home. Stephany Mayor scored a hat-trick, while Lizbeth Ovalle earned a brace. American international Mia Fishel tacked on the final goal in the 90’+4′ minute.

However, on Monday night, Monterrey were give a golden ticket to first place, with a favorable tilt against Atlético San Luis. All Monterrey needed was a win to jump over a cluster of teams for the top spot. Monterrey got the win in fashion, with a 4-2 final.

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Aylin Aviléz took 36 seconds to score the first goal, sliding in between two San Luis defenders and cooly putting the ball past Nicole Buenfil. Valeria Valdez added another goal in the first half, while San Luis pulled one back, courtesy of Daniela Carrandi. Right before halftime, Denisse Rivera equalized, giving Monterrey some issues heading into the locker room. A draw wouldn’t suffice. To clinch first place, Rayadas needed a win.

Christina Burkenroad was the hero for Monterrey in the second half, scoring in the 55th and 73rd minutes. Both tallies were scored almost from the same spot. On the first goal, she was covered by the San Luis defense, but on the second goal, she was completely left open.

Monterrey clinched first place with a big performance from their forward, who finished the season with 15 goals. Monterrey will take on 8th-place Tijuana in the Liguilla’s quarterfinals.

Charlyn Corral wins the Golden Boot, extends record

Charlyn Corral is the Golden Boot winner — and she did it in style.

In Week 16, Corral broke the record for the most goals scored in a Liga MX Femenil regular season, with 19 goals. The previous record was 18 goals, set by Katty Martínez (Guardianes 2021) and Alison González (Guardianes 2022). Corral extended the record in Week 17, with a goal against Cruz Azul to help Pachuca win, 3-0.

Corral danced around the Cruz Azul defense and hit the ball low to the far corner.

Her Pachuca teammate, Jenni Hermoso, stayed equal or close behind Corral throughout the whole Golden Boot race, finishing the season in second with 18 goals. Pachuca scored 54 goals this season — the most in Liga MX Femenil — which means the duo scored 70% of Tuzos‘ goals.

Burkenroad earned the third slot with 15 goals, while the rest of the final five was rounded out by Mia Fishel and Kiana Palacios, who both scored 13 goals. Needless to say, it may be a few years before we see a record like 20 goals in 17 games broken.

Liga MX Femenil Clausura 2023 Table | Week 17

NOTE: The top eight teams in Liga MX Femenil will qualify for the Liguilla, which are the playoffs.

C.F. Monterrey1232153139
UANL Tigres1223133538
Club América1142143737
Chivas de Guadalajara1142162437
FC Juárez845191128
Club Tijuana75528-526
UNAM Pumas67420825
Club León54830-1019
Atlético San Luis521035-1317
Santos Laguna45836-1717
Cruz Azul27823-913

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Looking Ahead: Clausura 2023 | Liguilla Quarterfinals

*All Times in Eastern Time. All matches on ViX streaming for free.

Leg 1

Thursday, May 18: Pachuca vs. Chivas at 8 PM

Friday, May 19: Atlas vs. Tigres at 8 PM

Friday, May 19: FC Juárez vs. Club América at 10 PM

Saturday, May 20: Club Tijuana vs. C.F. Monterrey at 12 AM (Midnight)

Leg 2

Sunday, May 21: Chivas vs. Pachuca at 7 PM

Monday, May 22: Club América vs. FC Juárez at 7 PM

Monday, May 22: Tigres vs. Atlas at 9 PM

Monday, May 22: C.F. Monterrey vs. Club Tijuana at 11 PM

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