Hernandez hat trick lifts Mexico over El Salvador
Javier Hernandez’s hat trick was more than enough for
Hernandez scored three times Sunday night and Mexico relied on
its stingy defense to rout El Salvador 5-0 in the opening match for
both teams at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
”The most important thing is we got the three points, not the
hat trick” Hernandez said.
His first goal came in the 60th minute on a header from the top
of the box. Efrain Juarez set up the goal with a corner kick from
the left side, and Hernandez headed a shot that bounced on the
ground and into the left corner of the net.
Seven minutes later, Hernandez knocked in a shot from inside 10
yards for Mexico’s fourth goal in a 12-minute span, and he scored
against in second-half stoppage time.
”He was fortunate to score as a result of good team play,”
Mexico coach Jose Manuel De La Torre said. ”He did what forwards
are supposed to do.”
Hernandez’s final goal came on a penalty kick when he chipped a
shot into the right corner of the net. The kick was awarded after
Marvin Gonzalez was handed a red card for a reckless foul on
Hernandez, drawing boos from the majority of the 80,000 fans who
were rooting for Mexico.
”It’s unbelievable the support we have from the Mexicans we
have that live here. You can see it with your own eyes,” Hernandez
said, ”80,000 people and most of them in green shirts.”
Mexico wound up with nine shots on goal compared to two for El
Salvador. The defending Gold Cup champions are now 12-1-6 all-time
in the tournament against Central American nations.
Juarez scored the game’s first goal after he rebounded his own
missed shot, which was swatted back at him by El Salvador
goalkeeper Miguel Montes. Aldo De Nigris added another goal in the
57th minute for Mexico just a minute after replacing Israel
”It was difficult to change in 5 minutes after a positive 55
minutes,” El Salvador coach Ruben Israel said. ”If you look at
the game, luck was not on our side.”