As the World Cup entered day two in what promised to be an enthralling round of fixtures, the biggest talking point in Manchester was Mexico’s exclusion of star striker Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez for the game against Cameroon.
The 26-year-old striker spent the majority of last season on the bench at Manchester United, and his lack of form for his country has also seen him lose his place upfront.
Chicharito, however, did manage to make an entrance with El Tri leading 1-0, replacing the goalscorer Oribe Peralta with just under 20 minutes remaining and eager to make an impression.
Supported by fellow club teammates on social networking site Twitter, the United striker was presented with a glorious opportunity in the last minute of the match to double Mexico’s lead, but he volleyed Miguel Layun’s cross wildly over the bar when it appeared easier to score.
Michael Carrick was one of those watching the match, and the Red Devils midfielder has backed Chicharito to bounce back from his horror miss, Tweeting:
Money's on @CH14_ to nick a goal here, come on chich !!!— Michael Carrick (@carras16) junio 13, 2014
I jinxed him haha don't worry he'll bang in the next one— Michael Carrick (@carras16) junio 13, 2014
After having two perfectly good goals ruled out for offside, Mexico finally broke the deadlock as Club America striker Peralta reacted quickest to slot home following a rebound.
The win was no less than what El Tri deserved, and Miguel Herrera’s impressive side will now look to take that performance into next week’s clash with host nation Brazil.
As for Hernandez, his obvious lack of form is of some concern, and the ‘Little Pea’ may find it difficult to convince new United boss Louis van Gaal that he can rediscover his old form at Old Trafford.