ARLINGTON, Texas -- It’s hard to believe it was scoreless match at halftime. Mexico fired in three goals in four minutes en route to a 5-0 victory over El Salvador in CONCACAF Gold Cup action. Man of the Match Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez gave the sellout crowd at Cowboys Stadium a hat trick in his first Gold Cup game.
* Efrain Juarez scored in the 55th minute to break the tie in an unconventional way. Juarez’s off-balance shot was deflected off El Salvador keeper Miguel Montes. The ball bounced in front of Juarez as he fell down in the goalie box and headed it in the net.
* Jesús De Nigris entered the game for Israel Castro in the 57th minute and scored a minute later from Andres Guardodo’s assist to make it 2-0.
* Hernandez took over thereafter to seal the deal for the defending Gold Cup champions with Guardodo’s help. He scored in the 59th and 67th minutes from Guardodo’s assists. Marvin’s Gonzalez’s red card in the penalty box allowed Chicharito to end the game on a penalty kick in the 95th minute, giving him the hat trick.
“The most important thing for me is the three points,” Hernandez said. “I don’t care if I score. Sometimes I won’t. The main thing is we won.”
* Mexico head coach Jose Manuel De La Torre carried the same “team” tone about Hernandez’s performance.
“[Hernandez] had the good fortune to score, but as a result of the team play,” De La Torre said. “That’s what the forwards are in there to do.”
* Mexico’s support was greater than that for El Salvador, Costa Rica and Cuba combined. It was evident while watching the majority of the 80,108 fans scream at the top of their lungs when Mexico scored. You couldn’t find a section that wasn’t flooded with red, white and green color combinations.
“Its unbelievable the support that we have from Mexicans who live here,” Hernandez said. “You can see it with your own eyes: 80,000 people and most of them in green shirts, and it means a lot to us.”
* Mexico hasn’t lost a Gold Cup game since the 2007 final against the United States, 2-1. El Tri’s next match is against Cuba, a team that lost 5-0 to Costa Rica on Sunday and is 0-1-7 in its last eight Gold Cup matches.
* El Salvador is now 4-1-11 in Gold Cup play since 2000. Los Cuscatlecos have only played together for 30 days but battled in the first half against El Tri. El Salvador displayed its lack of chemistry in the second half, as it was unable to rebound from Juarez’s score. It managed only one shot on goal in the second half, two in the game on 11 tries. El Salvador looks to bounce back against Costa Rica on June 9.
“I think we change the page and look ahead,” El Salvador head coach Ruben Jorge Israel said. “It doesn’t end or start with one game. Our motivation is an area of importance for us now, but also we need to focus on the field. We just have to get better in certain areas.
“Costa Rica is a very good team and a team that we know. It’s a very important tournament for us and we have the same chance as both Cuba and Costa Rica.”