The first tournament of the 2020/21 Liga MX Femenil season was action-packed. There were 441 goals scored over the course of 153 games played. But it’s not over yet. Now, the top eight teams of the tournament are set to compete in the playoffs.
With the 2020 Clausura canceled in May, there was a lot of unfinished business for clubs this year. Enter Guardianes 2020.
Usually the opening tournament of the season is the Apertura. This year, however, the league renamed it Guardianes. It’s a tribute to all healthcare workers risking their lives during the pandemic.
Apart from the name, not a whole lot changed in terms of the tournament format. Monarcas Morelia became Mazatlán FC, while a small handful of clubs underwent coaching changes.
The pandemic itself had a big impact on the league. On top of typical football-related injuries, positive COVID-19 cases also took their toll on team sheets.
Like other major sports leagues across North America that grappled with the virus, the Liga MX Femenil pushed on. After three months of battling both on and off the field, eight teams will now prepare for a fight to the final.
Regular season stats and playoff outlook
When Clausura 2020 was canceled, Tigres UNAL sat at the very top of the table. Fast-forward six months later and the Monterrey-based team is there once again, earning the top seed of the playoffs.
Tigres are the team to beat. During the regular season, they scored the most (50) and conceded the least (11). Out of 17 games, they managed to only draw and lose one time each.
Katty Martínez was the league’s top goalscorer. The 22-year-old forward scored 18 goals for, you guessed it, Tigres. She will surely look ahead to making an impact during the playoffs.
Of course, it’s not all about Tigres. After all, CF Monterrey (or Rayados) were the sole team able to defeat their crosstown rivals. If the two clubs have a successful playoff run, fans could witness a Clásico Regiomontano in the final. That happened during both the Clausura 2019 and Apertura 2019 seasons, which saw Tigres and then Rayados claim the silverware respectively.
Neutral fans will probably be hoping for a team other than Tigres and Rayados to make it to the final. Atlas FC could very well be that team, as they came closest to Tigres in the regular season table.
The Guadalajara-based team have forward Alison González at the ready. As the second highest goalscorer of the season, González could be the spark that Atlas need to reach the final. But then again, anything can happen!
Guardianes 2020 playoff bracket
Each stage of the playoffs will see teams play two legs, one home and one away. The aggregate score will then determine who moves on and who’s knocked out. Away goals will also break any ties during the quarterfinals and semifinals, though extra time and penalty shoot-outs are still possible.
The Guardianes 2020 quarterfinals will take place on Friday, November 27 and Monday, November 30. Because leg one and two are only three days apart, the depth of each squad will be tested.