Mexico Vs. Ecuador Recap: Chicharito And Corona Lead El Tri Over Ecuador 1-0 [VIDEO]

Mexico forward Javier Hernandez (14) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Ecuador during the first half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES – Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez scored the game’s only goal, and backup goalkeeper, José de Jesus “Chuy” Corona, made every save possible, including a penalty, and Mexico defeated Ecuador 1-0 on Saturday Night in Los Angeles.

Chicharito got Mexico on the board in the 14th minute when No. 14 stole the ball from Frickson Erazo, curled inside the center of the box and quickly blasted a shot off the far post. The ball hit the post and deflected into the net for the exquisite goal.

“I’m very happy, very pleased that I scored,” said Hernandez after the match. “The most important thing here is a team we made a very, very big effort, and we’re very happy.”

It was Hernandez’s 39th goal with the Mexican national team in 71 appearances. With the goal, Hernandez is now tied for second all-time behind Jared Borgetti for the most goals scored in Mexican history.

“Javier Hernandez is now the second best goal scorer in Mexico history,” said Mexico’s manager Miguel “El Piojo” Hererra of Chicharito. “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.”

Corona was spectacular in net in a rare spot start in place of World Cup hero, Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa. The 34-year-old Cruz Azul keeper was in net for Mexico’s 2012 gold medal Olympic team in London and made six huge saves in net on Saturday to keep a clean sheet for Mexico.

The referee called a foul on Mexico’s Diego Reyes in the 71st minute and awarded a penalty kick to Ecuador. Miller Bolaños took the penalty and was blocked by Corona who a made an incredible save diving to his right.

Jose "Chuy" Corona Mexico goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona (1) makes a save on a penalty kick during the second half against Ecuador at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mexico won 1-0. : Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

After the save, the nearly 90,000 fans in attendance rose to their feet and sang the popular Mariachi song, “Cielito Lindo” or “Canta y no llores” in unison to celebrate.

“It was a very intense game,” said El Tri defender Miguel Layun after the match. “There was good teamwork. The next two games are vital. We are grateful to all the fans who came out in the United States to support us.”

Mexico almost made it 2-0 in the 82nd minute when a series of volleys between Chicharito led to a header by Raul Jimenez that was tipped up into the air by Ecuador keeper Alexander Dominguez and just off the cross bar.

“We definitely made a lot of mistakes in the game, and Ecuador showed us there’s a lot we need to work on,” added Herrera.

Ecuador was playing without star striker, Enner Valencia, who missed the game with a cut on his toe. Valencia was the team’s leading goal scorer during the 2014 World Cup. Despite Valencia’s absence, Ecuador still had opportunities to score. Besides the missed penalty kick, Ecuador was dangerous on the offensive attack throughout the game, but Corona stepped up and made the save every time he was called upon.

“Even though we only had four training sessions before the match, I’m very content with the results and the way the players played,” said Ecuador head coach, Gustavo Quienteros, who was making his debut as manager of La Tricolor.

The two teams will meet again in the group stages of the Copa America in Chile on June 19th.

Game Notes:
This is the first time Mexico will have all their European players back on the national team as most will miss the team’s next match against Paraguay on Tuesday in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Michael Duarte

Michael J. Duarte is a Los Angeles based writer. Born and raised in the City of Angels, Michael did his undergraduate work at the University of California Santa Barbara and a graduate program at the University of Southern California. Michael was awarded the Paul Lazarus Screenwriting Scholarship Award in 2004 and the Corwin Writing Award for his feature screenplay, "Chasing 4:00" in 2005. In addition to Sports writing, Michael is an avid marathon runner and fan of the Magic Bullet blender.