Carlos Salcido scored in the first two minutes and Chicharito in the final two minutes as El Tri held off Serbia to give their coach his first triumph on Mexican soil
With Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic retiring internationally and Neven Subotic suffering a fractured eye socket, Serbia were weakened defensively and Mexico took advantage in the first couple minutes.
Salcido put El Tri on the board after sending a cross from the left to a cutting Chicharito, who was unable to make contact with his head from point-blank range and the ball instead went straight into the net past goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic.
Mexico continued to be in control early on. Every time it looked as though Serbia were stealing the momentum El Tri would regain possession and put the pressure back on the visiting defenders.
In the 36th minute, Mexico nearly netted their second goal but Stojkovic was able to bail his team out of another sticky situation. Pablo Barrera raced down the centre of the box and had an open attempt to the left saved by the diving keeper.
Moments later, Stojkovic made another big save - this time with his left foot. It was Andres Guardado who missed out on a golden opportunity that would have given his team a two-goal cushion to take into half-time.
The second period was much like the first except neither team was able to find the net.
Serbia had their best chance of the half when Milos Ninkovic's right-footed attempt from outside the box was blocked by Mexican keeper Alfredo Talavera. But just like in the early going, Mexico countered and Chicharito had a shot go just wide seconds later.
In the 69th minute it appeared as though Hernandez was taken down inside the box by Aleksandar Kolarov, but no matter how much the Manchester United striker was begging for a penalty the referee was not willing to make the call.
But Chicharito would eventually get his chance from the spot after the diminutive striker was once again brought down in the box by Kolarov during an attempted header, drawing a second yellow for the defender. He calmly slotted to his left from the spot to all but close the game in the 88th minute.
The win marked De la Torre's first victory in Mexico since becoming the team's coach over a year ago. He had lost his only other attempt last month to Brazil.
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