Ranking Mexico's 20 Best World Cup Goals

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2014

Ranking Mexico's 20 Best World Cup Goals

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    Lynne Sladky

    Mexico have scored 52 goals in their World Cup history. The first one came in their debut in Uruguay 1930, when Juan Carreno put the ball away in the 70th minute.

    After 14 appearances in football's greatest tournament, El Tri has had incredible plays that have ended with the ball in the back of the net.

    From Manuel Negrete's scissor kick against Bulgaria at the Estadio Azteca, to Javier Hernandez's left-foot shot in South Africa's round of 16, this list compiles the 20 best World Cup goals.

    Let's take a walk down memory lane…

20. Jose Luis Gonzalez vs. Italy (Mexico 1970)

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    El Tri qualified for the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time in Mexico 1970. After finishing second in Group 1, they faced Italy in the knockout stage.

    The home team scored early in the match. Javier Fragoso tricked the Italians and made them think that he was ready to shoot from outside the box.

    What the former Club America striker really did was pass the ball to Jose Luis Gonzalez, who came from behind to surprise the back line and the keeper. 

    Despite the effort, El Tri lost 4-1 to the Azzurri.

19. Ignacio Basaguren vs. El Salvador (Mexico 1970)

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    In 1970, Mexico organized the first World Cup in North America. The host couldn’t do much in the debut and ended the game in a scoreless draw against the Soviet Union.

    Their second clash would be very different. Javier Valdivia scored a brace, Javier Fragoso put the ball away in the 58th minute and Ignacio Basaguren sealed the deal seven minutes after he substituted Horacio Lopez.

    Basaguren’s goal was the best of the match. He sent a tricky cross to the box, which put Raul Magana in distress. Valdivia stole the ball from the keeper while Basaguren found the rebound to score Mexico’s fourth goal with a half turn.

18. Isidoro Diaz vs. Czechoslovakia (Chile 1962)

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    Chivas de Guadalajara were going trough their golden age; from 1956 to 1965, the club secured 15 titles. Their success was the reason why they fed the national team with seven players for the 1962 World Cup.

    One of those footballers was Isidoro Diaz, a fast and strong midfielder who knew how to leave the defenders behind to join the attack.

    In Chile, he scored the opener against Czechoslovakia after a fantastic play crafted by Pedro Najera, Salvador Reyes, Hector Hernandez and Ignacio Jauregui.

    El Tri won the match, which also meant their first victory in a World Cup.

17. Ricardo Pelaez vs. Netherlands (France 1998)

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    Ricardo Pelaez scored his first World Cup goal in 1998, after a bizarre rebound against South Korea in the first match of the group stage.

    However, Pelaez took advantage of his superb aerial game 12 days later. El Tri faced the Netherlands in a game they couldn't lose if they wanted to qualify for the knockout stage.

    Pelaez came in for Joel Sanchez in the second half, while Mexico were down 2-0. He immediately joined the attack, and after 20 minutes on the pitch, he put the ball away with a powerful header.

    The ball travelled through almost all the box before leaving Edwin van der Sar with no chance.

16. Enrique Borja vs. France (England 1966)

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    Enrique Borja was a 20-year-old striker known in Mexico for being a poacher. He scored all sorts of goals with almost any part of his body.

    His World Cup debut came in England 1966 in Mexico's first match against France. Borja had several opportunities to open the scoring, but it was until the second half where he finally capitalized his efforts.

    With a play that started in the boots of Salvador Reyes, Borja received the pass inside the box and put the ball away with a brilliant left-foot shot, leaving Marcel Aubour with no chance to save his goal.

    It was El Tri's only goal of the tournament.

15. Jared Borgetti vs. Ecuador (Korea-Japan 2002)

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    In 2002, Mexico entered the knockout stage undefeated and as group leaders, the only time they have achieved the feat.

    Jared Borgetti was a key footballer for El Tri. He helped the team secure their first victory of the tournament in the second game.

    The then Santos Laguna striker went into the box as soon as he saw Ramon Morales running through the left flank.

    Morales sent a powerful cross to the box that Borgetti touched gently to surprise the Ecuadorian goalie.

14. Fernando Quirarte vs. Iraq (Mexico 1986)

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    Fernando Quirarte was in great shape in Mexico in 1986. He was a fantastic centre-back who became a serious threat in set pieces.

    His aerial game was first class, and he could shoot from close-range with ease. He proved his skills against Iraq and became Mexico's top scorer in that year's World Cup.

    Against Iraq, Quirarte went into the box from the right flank after a set piece; he controlled the ball and put it away in style.

13. Fernando Quirarte vs. Belgium (Mexico 1986)

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    Mexico became the first country to host two World Cups in 1986. It was also the first time El Tri was undefeated in the group stage.

    In their first match, against Belgium, the home team proved it had a brilliant group of players, led by Hugo Sanchez, Tomas Boy, Javier Aguirre, Manuel Negrete and Fernando Quirarte.

    The latter scored Mexico’s opener in the 2-1 victory over the Europeans after a powerful header that, despite Jean-Marie Pfaff’s effort, ended in the back of the net.

12. Antonio Naelson vs. Iran (Germany 2006)

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    Known simply as Sinha, he was born in Brazil and became a naturalized Mexican citizen in 2004. He represented El Tri in several tournaments, such as the 2004 Summer Olympics and the 2005 Confederations Cup.

    Sinha played the 2006 World Cup and scored in a way in which he usually didn't. He was very prolific with his feet, but in Germany he surprised everyone with a fantastic header.

    He started the play in the center of the pitch and then passed the ball to Mario Mendez, who returned it perfectly, giving Sinha enough time and space to score.

11. Gerardo Torrado vs. Ecuador (Korea-Japan 2002)

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    Gerardo Torrado was a fantastic defensive midfielder for Mexico in the 2000s. He was a tough and reliable player in the center of the pitch, his physical conditions were superb and he had a mean long-distance shot.

    In Korea-Japan 2002, El Tri faced Ecuador. He sealed Mexico's victory with a brilliant goal from outside the box, which helped his team get momentum ahead of the clash with Italy.

    Torrado played in two more World Cups (2006 and 2010) but couldn't score in any of them.

10. Marcelino Bernal vs. Italy (USA 1994)

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    Marcelino Bernal was a ferocious midfielder who joined the attack easily. He had great possession and recovery skills, plus vision.

    In the 1994 World Cup, the last match of Group E was key in determining the teams that would qualify to the knockout stage, as all four squads were tied.

    Daniele Massaro opened the score for Italy three minutes after the second half started.

    Bernal took a leap of faith and shot from outside the box. It was the only way Mexico surprised Luca Marchegiani.

9. Luis Garcia vs. Ireland (USA 1994)

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    Luis Garcia scored his first World Cup goal against the Republic of Ireland in 1994.

    Mexico came from a tough defeat in front of Norway, and they needed a win desperately if they wanted to advance to the round of 16.

    Just when the first half was about to end, Marcelino Bernal made a run through the right flank and passed the ball to Carlos Hermosillo, who saw Garcia alone.

    The then Atletico Madrid striker didn't think twice and shot as soon as he received the ball, putting it in the back of Packie Bonner's net.

8. Luis Hernandez vs. South Korea (France 1998)

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    A Mexican legend was born in France 1998. Luis Hernandez had already proven his talent in the 1997 Copa America, where he scored six times on his way to becoming the tournament's top scorer.

    His speed and strength mixed with his knack for goalscoring were the perfect combination to set him as the Mexican footballer to follow.

    His second goal against South Korea helped Mexico secure their first win of the tournament (3-1). The reception, the turn and the execution were flawless.

7. Jared Borgetti vs. Italy (Korea-Japan 2002)

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    A specialist of the aerial game, Jared Borgetti turned an almost impossible header into an awesome goal.

    In the group stage of Korea-Japan 2002, Mexico had had a fantastic run. The team had defeated Croatia and Ecuador and was practically qualified for the round of 16.

    However, Javier Aguirre's team wanted more, and the clash with Italy was the perfect scenario to prove the players' talent.

    El Tri tried to score countless times, but the Italian defense was tough. It took a risky pass from Cuauhtemoc Blanco to the heart of the box, as well as Borgetti's vision and expertise, to open the score.

6. Luis Hernandez vs. Netherlands (France 1998)

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    This goal secured Mexico's ticket to the knockout stage. Luis Hernandez had already scored twice in the 1998 World Cup (against South Korea), but this one meant a lot more.

    "El Matador" had played all three games of the group stage, and, even when the match against the Netherlands was in injury time, he gave it his all. He fought hard with the defenders to win the ball and ultimately defeat Edwin van der Sar.

    Hernandez's goal may not be the most beautiful or technical, but a whole nation went nuts with it.

5. Javier Hernandez vs. France (South Africa 2010)

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    Just like his grandfather did in Switzerland 1954, Javier Hernandez scored against France, but he accomplished the feat 56 years later.

    After a dreadful draw with South Africa, El Tri were in desperate need of a win, but Les Blues were a very complicated squad with brilliant players.

    The first half didn't bring much for the teams and it wasn't until the last 45 minutes when things got interesting.

    Chicharito came in for Efrain Juarez and, nine minutes later, he showed off his speed and fine touch.

    Mexico won the game 2-0.

4. Javier Hernandez vs. Argentina (South Africa 2010)

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    Mexico faced Argentina in the World Cup knockout stage for the second successive time. In 2006, a brilliant shot from Maxi Rodriguez ousted El Tri in overtime.

    But four years later the story was very different and, by the 42nd minute, Mexico was already losing 3-0.

    Javier Hernandez scored El Tri's sole goal after a perfect reception that let him leave two defenders behind and finish the play with a powerful left shot.

3. Luis Hernandez vs. Germany (France 1998)

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    Luis Hernandez helped Mexico reach the round of 16 in France 1998 after scoring three times in the group stage.

    His most brilliant goal came in the knockout stage against Germany. The first half of the game was tough, as the Europeans constantly threatened to score.

    However, it was Hernandez who did it first. He received a pass from Cuauhtemoc Blanco and left behind Markus Babbel, Christian Worns and Michael Tarnat before defeating Andreas Kopke.

2. Cuauhtemoc Blanco vs. Belgium (France 1998)

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    Mexico defeated South Korea 3-1 in the opening match of Group E, and the next rival was Belgium.

    The European side managed to secure a scoreless draw with the Netherlands in the first matchday and was determined to defeat Mexico.

    Everything went right for Belgium in the first 47 minutes. Marc Wilmots scored a brace that put Mexico in distress.

    But Manuel Lapuente's team didn't stop fighting and eight minutes after Wilmots' second goal; Alberto Garcia Aspe brought El Tri closer with a penalty kick.

    In the 62nd minute Cuauhtemoc Blanco scored one of the most brilliant, and at the same time awkward, goals in World Cup history.

    He received a cross by Ramon Ramirez and, knowing that he was a bit late, he decided to volley the ball with his left foot. The finish was spectacular.

1. Manuel Negrete vs. Bulgaria (Mexico 1986)

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    Manuel Negrete's scissor kick goal against Bulgaria is not only Mexico's best World Cup goal, but also one of the finest in the tournament's history.

    Negrete had a good performance in the group stage, crafting plays and creating opportunities for his side.

    However, in the round of 16 he was key. He teamed with Javier Aguirre in the edge of the box to control a high ball, which he put away with unbelievable skill.