Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez found himself in select company and close to a place in history when he finally ended his goal drought.
Hernandez scored the only goal in Mexico’s 1-0 win over Ecuador on Saturday night in Los Angeles. Hernandez, 26, moved into second place on Mexico’s all-time leading goal scorers’ list with a superb solo effort that reminds his legions of fans and prospective employers of his considerable scoring prowess.
Hernandez struck just 14 minutes into the game after winning the ball off Frickson Erazo, cutting inside and unleashing a powerful drive, which beat the goalkeeper, caromed off the post and went into the goal (see it below starting at the 20-second mark).
The goal was Hernandez’s 39th for Mexico in 71 games. Hernandez now is tied with Cuauhtemoc Blanco on “El Tri’s” list of goal-scoring greats. They trail only Jared Borgetti, who stands atop the ranks with 46 international goals in 89 games.
“Javier Hernandez is now the second best goal scorer in Mexico history,” Mexico manager Miguel Hererra said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “You can not only see him as the talented soccer player he is, but also his attitude he shows and how determined he is to be better and stay focused.”
Hernandez scores goals for a living but has had trouble doing so in recent months. Hernandez hasn’t scored for his club, Real Madrid, since Oct. 29, and his last goal for Mexico before Saturday came on Nov. 12. He rarely plays for Real Madrid but remains a mainstay in Mexico’s lineup.
Hernandez has rediscovered his goal-scoring touch at the right time, as Mexico has a busy schedule this summer. Fans who want Hernandez to break Borgetti’s this summer either at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup or 2015 Copa America hope the rust he accumulates in Europe won’t affect him too negatively when dons the uniform of “El Tri” for serious games in the Western Hemisphere. Otherwise, he has plenty of time to pass Borgetti in the years to come.
Thumbnail photo via Ringo H.W. Chiu/The Associated Press