ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Giovani Dos Santos and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez each scored a first-half goal as Mexico beat Brazil 2-0 on Sunday in a final tune-up for the Mexicans before World Cup qualifying play.
It was the second straight game in which Mexico’s top two forwards each scored a goal, indicating the Mexican attack is in top form at the right time. Mexico plays Guyana on Friday to open the semifinal round of World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF region.
“This game served us well in our plans for qualifying,” Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre said through a translator. “We killed two birds with one stone in beating a strong opponent and preparing ourselves for qualifying.”
Dos Santos opened the scoring in the 22nd minute on an unlikely conversion from a difficult angle near the sideline. The Tottenham forward chipped the ball from the left side of the box into the upper corner of the right side, beating goalkeeper Rafael Cabral, who was making his second start for Brazil.
Brazil coach Mano Menezes dismissed the shot as a “fortunate” strike.
“Giovani was crossing it into the box and scored,” Menezes said.
Ten minutes later, Dos Santos again was in the middle of the action. Brazilian defender Juan Jesus took him down inside the box, a clumsy foul because Dos Santos’ back was to the goal. On the penalty kick, Cabral guessed correctly, but Hernandez’s strike found the net.
Brazil fielded a young squad of mostly under-23 players in preparation for the upcoming Olympics in London. This particular roster was in just its third game together and found itself trailing for the first time.
“In the first half, we needed more calm,” Menezes said. “When it was 0-0, we needed to slow down and show more patience. But this is normal with young players.”