Chicharito’s goal enough as Mexico open 2015 with win vs. Ecuador

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez scored Mexico's winner in the first half, which moves him one step closer to overhauling Jared Borgetti on El Tri's all-time goal-scoring list.

MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Javier Hernandez moved a step closer to overhauling Jared Borgetti on Mexico’s all-time goal-scoring list after helping Miguel Herrera’s men to a 1-0 victory over Ecuador in Saturday’s international friendly at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Hernandez scored the only goal of the match in the 14th minute — moving second alongside Cuauhtemoc Blanco on 39 goals. The 26-year-old — on loan at Real Madrid – is just seven goals adrift of Borgetti. Mexico goalkeeper Jesus Corona also played a key role, denying Miller Bolanos on three occasions, including from the penalty spot in the 71st-minute.

Ecuador — playing its first match since October last year — settled quickest of the two teams in front of a vocal Los Angeles crowd and the South Americans should have taken an early lead, if not for Corona. Corona — the Mexico number one with 2014 World Cup hero Guillermo Ochoa struggling for game time at Malaga in Spain — denied Bolanos twice, including from close range in the sixth minute after the Ecuador midfielder was played in by Felipe Caicedo.

Mexico slowly began to find its rhythm and it was not long before Hernandez gave his side a 14th-minute lead in spectacular fashion. Hernandez won possession outside the penalty area and beat two defenders before curling the ball past goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez and in off the post.

Corona was on hand to thwart Ecuador again, this time denying Jefferson Montero, who was replaced two minutes before halftime, from close range with less than 10 minutes remaining in the first half. The second half was another end-to-end contest, but neither side really created any clear-cut chances up until the 71st minute when referee Christopher Reid controversially pointed to the spot.

Reid awarded a penalty after Angel Mena – the first-half substitute – fell to the floor as Diego Reyes attempted to shield the ball. But Bolanos missed the spot kick, Corona diving low to preserve Mexico’s advantage and ultimately the victory.

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