Hernandez hat trick lifts Mexico over El Salvador

Javier Hernandez’s hat trick was more than enough for

Mexico.

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

Castro.

”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.”