Hernandez shines in Mexico victory

Javier Hernandez scored early and late to give Mexico a 2-0 win over Serbia in a friendly on Friday.

A Carlos Salcido cross from the left in the second minute ended up in the far corner of the net, with Hernandez claiming the goal as his, saying he got the slightest of glances with his head. Television replays were inconclusive.

The Manchester United striker won and then converted a penalty in the 86th, with Manchester City defender Aleksandar Kolarov receiving a second yellow card for the foul.

The game was Mexico’s last of a successful 2011 and Serbia’s first since failing to qualify for Euro 2012.

”I touched it,” Hernandez said about the first goal in a halftime interview with local television. ”But we’ll have to see the video.”

Mexico set out at a high tempo, dominating first half possession and taking the game to Serbia.

In the 44th, Andres Guardado came close to putting Mexico two up with a shot from the edge of the penalty area, but Serbia keeper Vladimir Stojkovic deflected the ball wide for a corner.

Serbia was restricted to opportunities from set plays, but failed to seriously test Mexico goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera during the first half.

Serbia improved after halftime, almost snatching an equalizer in the 78th when Vladimir Kaluderovic crossed the ball to a free Adem Ljajic, who was tackled by Jesus Zavala just as he was about the shoot.

Hernandez won the penalty late in the game after being shoved by Kolarov as he was jumping for a cross. The striker slotted the penalty low to the goalkeeper’s right.

The victory means Mexico has won 11 games, drawn four and lost one game in 2012, all under coach Jose Manuel de la Torre. Serbia, which finished third in Group C of Euro 2012 qualifying behind Italy and Estonia, faces Honduras in another friendly on November 14.


Mexico: Alfredo Talavera, Francisco Rodriguez, Carlos Salcido, Hector Moreno, Efrain Juarez (Jonny Magallon, 90), Jesus Zavala (Jesus Molina ,90), Israel Castro, Pablo Barrera (Edgar Andrade, 64), Giovani Dos Santos (Sinha, 54), Andres Guardado (Javier Aquino, 88), Javier Hernandez (Oribe Peralta ,89).

Serbia: Vladimir Stojkovic, Branislav Ivanovic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Slobodan Rajkovic, Pavle Ninkov, Milos Krasic (Bosko Jankovic, 63), Zdravko Kuzmanovic, Milos Ninkovic (Radosav Petrovic, 77), Gojko Kacar, Nikola Zigic (Dragan Mrdja, 73 ((Andrija Kaludjerovic, 80)), Milan Jovanovic (Adem Ljajic, 69)