Soccer  

Monterrey pip Tigres on penalties to become Liga MX Femenil champions

Monterrey beat Tigres 3-1 on penalties to become the new champions of women’s soccer in Mexico on Monday night.

The tie finished 2-2 on aggregate over two legs of the 2021 Apertura final, with Rayadas eventually triumphing from the spot.

Monday’s final initially proved to be a tense and dramatic one in the sold-out Estadio Universitario.

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In a scoreless first half, Monterrey focused on shutting down opposing attacks while Tigres took more risks and charged forward. Although Tigres arguably had the better chances in the first 45 minutes — and hit the woodwork as well — Monterrey’s Desiree Monsivais had a close-range opportunity of her own that was dramatically stopped by Tigres goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago.

After the half-time whistle, the match began to open up as both sides attempted to find a game-winner. Along with Santiago’s acrobatics in net for Tigres, Monterrey goalkeeper Alejandria Godinez also stood out with her saves and clearances that kept things level at 0-0 in the second leg.

Ultimately, Godinez became the star of the evening once the final went to penalties.

With two saves in the shootout, the 27-year-old goalkeeper stifled Tigres’ players and helped carry Monterrey to a 3-1 win in the penalty round.

“It’s something that we have been working on since the beginning of the playoffs. We knew it was a possibility,” said Godinez to TUDN about the penalty shootout. “Everyone was mentally prepared for that instance.

“When we took the penalties, we were all very calm,” also stated Monterrey’s Mariana Cadena to TUDN. “Why? Because we trusted each other, because we trusted that Alex [Godinez] was going to stop the penalties that she stopped, because that’s the unity that we have.”

The Liga MX Femenil championship is a second for Monterrey since their first title in the 2019 Apertura.

After a short break, the next season begins on Jan. 7 for women’s professional soccer in Mexico.