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Mexico: Javier Hernandez's Momentum Will Be Key in the World Cup Qualifiers

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25:  Javier Hernandez of Manchester United in action during the Capital One Cup Third Round match betwen Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on September 25, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2013

It is now or never for Mexico. Javier Hernandez needs to bring his magic to the last couple of qualifiers if he wants to help his country.

Chicharito scored a lonely goal in the Capital One Cup, which gave Manchester United the win over Liverpool. It was the Mexican’s first game as a starter since David Moyes took over the squad.

The striker proved, once again, that he is going to take advantage of every opportunity he receives.

The Daily Mail reports that his goal stats are better than several of the best players in the world. Ronaldo, Messi and Rooney are some of the footballers behind Hernandez.

Victor Manuel Vucetich knows that the United striker is a game changer. The Mexican manager called five of the eight Mexican footballers playing abroad, and Hernandez was included in the list.

After scoring his 51st goal with United, Chicharito will be instrumental against Panama and Costa Rica.

The first one, against Los Canaleros, will be a very physical and demanding match. El Tri need to win at the Estadio Azteca if they want to take over the fourth spot of the general table.

The task will not be easy, though. Mexico has not won at the Azteca since September 2012, when they defeated Costa Rica in the third round of the World Cup qualifying. It was Hernandez who scored the winning goal.

But things were different one year ago. Mexico had won its three previous games; they led Group B and had a five-goal difference. Ultimately, El Tri was the only undefeated team of the round.

The problems started in February. A shameful draw to Jamaica at the Azteca, followed by an unfair tie to Honduras, raised the red flag.

When Mexico travel to Costa Rica they need to draw or win. If they lose they depend on Panama’s result and that may mean no playoff against New Zealand.

By the way, the All Whites plan to have two friendlies before the home and away matches against CONCACAF's fourth place.

Aside from the lack of strategy and depth, the strikers are not scoring. Chicharito can say he has two goals to his count out of Mexico’s four—Oribe Peralta and Aldo de Nigris scored the rest.

Hernandez has also been El Tri's top scorer in the 2010 World Cup (two goals), 2011 Gold Cup (seven goals) and 2013 Confederations Cup (two goals).

He may not score the most spectacular goals, or create the most lethal plays, but he is one of the most unbalancing, fast and lethal strikers in world football.

There is no doubt that Mexico rely a lot on him. However, the team needs to put up a strong midfield that can provide balls to the striker, in this case Chicharito.

In the last couple of games against Honduras and the United States, we saw him trying to become a playmaker, which he clearly isn't.

There is only one thing Hernandez has to worry about and that is scoring. He is going through a good time and Vucetich needs to take advantage of the situation.

 

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