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 By Tom Marshall

Women's Copa MX kicks off in Toluca on Wednesday

A new era in the women's game in Mexico got underway on Wednesday as 12 Liga MX sides played the first matches of the inaugural women's Copa MX in Toluca.

It was the first time Mexico's first-division sides have fielded women's teams and the cup competition is a precursor to a full-fledged women's league, which is set to begin in September, although no exact date has been given.

Club America notched up a 6-0 victory over Monterrey, with Necaxa defeating Santos 2-0, Pachuca winning 6-1 against Chivas, Pumas overcoming Tigres 4-1, Toluca defeating Morelia 2-0 and Club Tijuana sailing to a 2-0 win over Cruz Azul in the group stage of the competition.

The first goal of the competition was scored by Club America's Daniela Espinosa as Las Aguilas eased past Monterrey.

The teams will play the final group games on Thursday and Friday ahead of Saturday's final to crown the first women's Copa MX champion.

The introduction of women's sides in Liga MX was announced on Dec. 5, with league president Enrique Bonilla indicating the idea was born from an initiative from the Mexican federation (FMF).

"We want to strengthen the women's league to nourish the national teams with stars," said Bonilla at the time.

Each team is allowed 21 players from the under-23 age group, with at least four from the U17s and two additional players of any age. All have to be Mexican.

Atlas, Puebla, Veracruz, Chiapas, Leon and Queretaro didn't field teams in the cup competition.

Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.

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