Home Draw Enough to Qualify
SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Friday, March 29, 2019.- Tigres Women earned one point this evening and, even though it was enough to secure their qualification to the Playoffs, the feeling in the Universitario Stadium was one of having lost two points against a side that played defensively to avoid defeat and make up somewhat for stiff legs after a 12-hour journey.
Tigres Women were superior from the starting whistle to the very end, took control as of minute one and generated as many opportunities as they liked on Necaxa’s goal, but ultimately paid the price for their poor aim owing to their over-eager and uncontrolled attitude in front of the opponent’s goal.
The match got off to a troubled start, with Necaxa arriving late after the bus transporting them to San Nicolás de los Garza was involved in an accident. Tigres sent one of their own buses to the Saltillo-Monterrey highway to rescue them and ensure the game could go on.
The starting whistle sounded 25 minutes late and from that moment Katty Martínez, Evelyn González, Jacqueline Ovalle, Liliana Mercado and even Greta Espinoza all had a chance to open the scoring, but the ball just refused to go into the net, going wide to the sides, hitting the woodwork or because of two miraculous saves by the visiting goalkeeper, Andrea Rivera.
The clearest opportunities were seen at minute two when Ovalle’s impeccable direct free kick lobbed over the wall, but found the crossbar, marking the start of a long, nightmarish evening for our felines’ nose for goals.
Just 22 minutes later, Espinoza pulled off a solid header inside Necaxa’s goal area, but keeper Rivera displayed cat-like reflects with a spectacular save that sent the ball out for a corner, dampening the cries of ‘goal’ of the 8,853 fans who had come to the stadium to enjoy a Friday-night football match.
After the break, manager Ramón Villa Zevallos sent Nayeli Rangel and Liliana Rodríguez on to replace Cristina Ferral and Nancy Antonio, respectively, endeavoring to increase the team’s depth and taking advantage of the fact that the opponents hadn’t even come close to the felines’ goal.
It wasn’t until minute 77 when Ovalle again attempted a shot from outside the box, which was intercepted, conceding a corner. Our players’ frustration was beginning to show, since neither Evelyn nor Jacquie could cross accurately, despite their assertiveness.
‘Chito’ called on Fernanda Elizondo to increase the number of attackers and create more chances, but neither luck nor accurate passes were on the sprightly striker’s side, preventing her from making her mark. The closest she came was in injury time with a sliding tackle in front of the goal that she tried to finish, but without any success.
Tigres reached 30 points, but lost Group 2 leadership. However, they have secured a spot in the Playoffs, even though there are still two more fixtures to go, against Morelia and Chivas, as well as resting on the last matchday.
TIGRES: Vania Villalobos; Karen Luna, Cristina Ferral (Nayeli Rangel 46’), Greta Espinoza and Selene Cortés; Mariana Elizondo, Liliana Mercado (Fernanda Elizondo 71’) and Nancy Antonio (Liliana Rodríguez 46’); Evelyn González, Jacqueline Ovalle and Katty Martínez.
Manager: Ramón Villa Zevallos
NECAXA: Andrea Rivera; Lucía Muñoz, Emili Bautista, Liliana Sánchez and Brianda Escobedo; Valeria Meza, Nohely Enríquez, María Magaña (Olimpia Cuevas 65’) (Andrea Villalobos 84’) and Brenda García; Claudia Sánchez and Vyaney Zorrilla (Michelle Medina 59’).
Manager: Fabiola Vargas
Referee: Felipe Moreno
Yellow cards: Nohely Enríquez, Necaxa (49’)