Guardado Leads Mexico to 3-1 Win Over Jamaica in CONCACAF Gold Cup Title Match

Andrés Guardado is returning south of the border as Mexico’s new soccer hero…

The 28-year-old Mexican futbol player, who plays for Dutch club PSV Eindhoven and the Mexico national team, scored his fourth goal of the knockout rounds to help propel Mexico to its seventh CONCACAF Gold Cup title Sunday with a 3-1 victory over upstart Jamaica.

Andrés Guardado

Jesus Corona and Oribe Peralta contributed goals as El Tri scored twice early in the second half to ensure this match wouldn’t come down to any calls in the final minutes.

It was a convincing performance for coach Miguel Herrera and his team after some rough play and contentious moments in the previous two games.

Jamaica had made a rousing run to the final, stunning the U.S. in the semis to become the first Caribbean nation to reach the Gold Cup’s championship match. And they looked as though they belonged in the opening minutes, keeping the pressure on Mexico with several promising scoring chances but never putting a shot on goal.

Jamaica hadn’t trailed since early in the second half of its Gold Cup opener before a yellow card helped lead to Mexico’s first goal.

Darren Mattocks scored in the 80th minute to pull the Reggae Boyz within 3-1.

El Tri will face the U.S., the 2013 Gold Cup champions, on October 9 for CONCACAF’S spot in the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.

The only way Mexico had been able to score in the knockout rounds before Sunday had been on penalty kicks, all three by Guardado. And two of those came on late, questionable calls.

Against Costa Rica in the quarterfinals, a scoreless game was moments from going to a shootout when Guardado converted his penalty in the final minute of extra time. Mexico had been the better team that day, but that wasn’t the case in the semifinals. Down to 10 men, Panama was on the verge of victory when a disputed hand ball set up a penalty for Guardado in second-half stoppage time, and he scored on another for the winner in extra time.

Mexico had gone 272 minutes since one of its players scored on anything other than a penalty when Guardado put El Tri ahead for good Sunday. Jonathan dos Santos found Paul Aguilar out wide on a free kick, and Aguilar crossed it to Guardado, whose left-footed volley made it 1-0 in the 31st minute. It was his sixth goal of the tournament, one behind Clint Dempsey of the U.S.

Guardado came off to a thunderous ovation from the pro-Mexico crowd of 68,930 at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL‘s Philadelphia Eagles.

Hernandez Joining Real Madrid on Season-Long Loan from Manchester United

Javier Hernandez is leaving the United Kingdom…

The 26-year-old Mexican soccer star, known simply as Chicharito, is set to join Real Madrid on a season-long loan from Manchester United with an option for a permanent deal.

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez

United had received offers from Juventus and Valencia for Hernandez last week, but he opted to move to Real Madrid.

The Mexico international sealed the loan to the European champion after passing a medical on Monday.

A statement on the Spanish club’s official website reads: “Real Madrid and Manchester United have reached an agreement for the loan of the player Javier Hernandez Chicharito, who will be attached to the club for the current season. Real Madrid retains an option to purchase the player.

“Javier Hernandez Chicharito will give a news conference at the Santiago Bernabeu today Monday at 4:30 p.m.”

The former Premier League champions allowed Hernandez to leave after they agreed to bring in Monaco forward Radamel Falcao, another reported target of Real, on loan.

Hernandez has slipped further down the pecking order at Old Trafford in recent years after the arrivals of Robin van Persie, Juan Mata and now Falcao.

He signed for 6.9 million pounds from Guadalajara in 2010 and was named United’s player of the year in his debut season, when he scored 20 goals.

He has gone on to score 59 goals in 154 games for the club but started only six league matches last season. While he began the current campaign in the team, he was substituted at halftime in the 2-1 defeat to Swansea.

Hernandez, who has scored 36 times in 66 caps for his country, becomes the third Mexican to play for Real after Jose Luis Borbolla and Hugo Sanchez, who scored 208 goals for the 32-time champions of Spain.

Mexico boss Miguel Herrera had earlier tweeted: “Going to Real Madrid is a big opportunity for [Hernandez], for whom I wish the best of success.”

 

Hernandez is expected to understudy first-choice striker Karim Benzema at the Bernabeu. In the past five years, no player has scored more goals as a substitute in the top five European leagues than Hernandez, who has struck 14 times after coming off the bench.

Hernandez will join James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos and Keylor Navas among Real’s summer signings.