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Liga MX Femenil, Apertura Week 7: Pachuca’s struggles continue with Puebla upset

Photo: Puebla Femenil.

Liga MX Femenil not only had a week filled with upsets and reorganizing on the table, but enjoyed a big week in terms of representation.

Mexico did not qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but the domestic league in the country was represented thanks to Jenni Hermoso, of Pachuca. Hermoso was integral to Spain’s victory and will come back to Mexico with a gold medal around her neck.

Her teammates will be thrilled with her performance and achievement when she returns. However, that’s not to say that Pachuca hasn’t missed their star striker. This season, Pachuca has struggled on the pitch, with Tuzos’ latest loss being a head-turner: a 4-3 upset from Puebla.

The victory was Puebla’s first this Apertura season, with one win, one draw and five losses. Meanwhile, Pachuca sits in 12th place with two wins and four losses — (Pachuca still needs to make up their Week 6 match against Atlas, which they will do on Aug. 30).

The match was back and forth, with Puebla finding the back of the net first, 10 minutes into the opening kick. After Aisha Solórzano muscled herself off two defenders, she snuck the ball over to Norma Gaitan, who stood wide open in the box for the opener. Pachuca then took the lead, with a 23rd minute goal from Charyln Corral and a nutmeg goal from Vanessa Millsaps.

Puebla then did the unthinkable to equalize the match. A penalty was called in favor of Puebla, and the team elected to send up their goalkeeper to take the kick, Karla Morales. It’s not often you see goalkeepers take penalty kicks — in fact, U.S. women’s national team goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was the first goalkeeper to convert a penalty in the World Cup knockout rounds — especially in regulation. In dire moments, it’s not rare to see teams send up goalkeepers for corner kicks or free kicks. But a penalty? The move had Pachuca and opposing goalkeeper Esthefanny Barreras scratching their heads.

The move paid off, with Morales sneaking the ball to the left. Even her stutter-step was impressive.

Savianna Gomez extended the lead immediately at the start of the second half, with a strike inside the box. However, once again, Pachuca equalized. This time, a penalty was called in the Tuzos’ attacking end. Instead of gambling and putting up their own goalkeeper, Pachuca played it safe and put Corral on the spot, who successfully converted her kick.

It was Gomez, though, who saved the day, and collected the first win of the season for Puebla. After a poor clearance from Pachuca, and with Barreras coming off her line, Gomez dribbled past the goalkeeper and took a shot at a tight angle.

Pachuca has a tough schedule on paper coming up. Losses this season have occurred against Cruz Azul, Tolcua, Tigres and now Puebla. The Tigres loss is more acceptable than the other three, with Pachuca being a stronger side on paper.

Time will tell when Hermoso comes back to the squad, but Tuzos need to win games without their Spaniard. The next two matches are against Mazatlán and UNAM Pumas. Pachuca must earn some points before they have to play catch up.

Other Apertura Week 7 Scores

  • Puebla 4-3 Pachuca
  • Club Tijauan 3-0 Toluca
  • Cruz Azul 1-5 Chivas de Guadalajara
  • UNAM Pumas 4-1 Mazatlán
  • Necaxa 0-2 Querétaro
  • Club León 2-3 Club América
  • C.F. Monterrey 2-2 FC Juárez
  • Santos Laguna 0-7 UANL Tigres

Liga MX Femenil Apertura 2023 Table | Week 7

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

Club América70072521
UANL Tigres61052519
Chivas de Guadalajara52041317
C.F. Monterrey42141414
Club Tijuana41212213
Club León40212-212
UNAM Pumas31313210
Atlético San Luis3129010
Cruz Azul30416-89
FC Juárez13211-46
Santos Laguna00725-230

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Looking Ahead: Apertura 2023 | Week 8

*All Times in Eastern Time.

Friday, Aug. 25: UANL Tigres vs. Atlas at 9 PM (ViX+)

Friday, Aug. 25: Mazatlán vs. Club América at 9:06 PM

Friday, Aug. 25: C.F. Monterrey vs. UNAM Pumas at 11 PM (ViX+)

Friday, Aug. 25: FC Juárez vs. Pachuca at 11:10 PM

Saturday, Aug. 26: Cruz Azul vs. Querétaro at 2 PM (ViX+)

Sunday, Aug. 27: Club León vs. Puebla at 7 PM

Sunday, Aug. 27: Atlético San Luis vs. Chivas de Guadalajara at 7 PM

Monday, Aug. 28: Tolcua vs. Necaxa at 7 PM (ViX+)

Monday, Aug. 28: Santos Laguna vs. Club Tijuana at 9:06 PM

Week 6 Make Up Match

Wednesday, Aug. 30: Pachuca vs. Atlas at 9:06 PM

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