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Played
June 12, 2012 9:30 PM EDT
Estadio Cuscatlán — San Salvador
Referee:‬ J. Pineda‎
Attendance:‬ 29712‎
 
 
Stay tuned for our match report, player ratings and post-game reactions. I'm Eric Gomez, follow me on Twitter @goaleric. Good night.
 
 
Mexico gets its fifth win in a row after dropping 2012's initial contest to Colombia. El Salvador has yet to win in this round of qualifying.
 
 
Tons of things to take away from this. Yes, looks like there was offside on Mexico's second goal. And El Tri struggled mightily. But a win is a win, and these games are critical for any team looking to legitimize its good form. El Salvador fought mightily and found a goal off set pieces, which is Mexico's eternal weakness, but they did not generate anything of substance other than that.
 
 
It's over! Mexico pulls out a huge victory in El Salvador! 2-1 with goals from Zavala and Moreno to thank. Mexico goes to six points in their group and they lead it. El Salvador are third with one point after two matches.
 
90′ +2
Corner kick for Mexico. No one wants to take it. With good reason, the Salvadorian fans are preparing their beers, water bottles, plastic bags and coins. Andrade has been struck.
 
90′ +1
So close! Quintanilla had a golden opportunity as he took a pass from Pacheco but he could not handle it.
 
90′
Three more minutes at the Cuscatlán.
 
90′
The Mexican bench is desperate to find out how much time will be added on.
 
89′
Zavala sent a laser of a pass to Chicharito, who had it knocked away just before he could get a foot on it.
 
88′
El Salvador pushing everyone up front to try and generate some offense. They're leaving spaces in the back though. Reyna nearly poked through two defenders on one play.
 
87′
Substitution Pablo Edson Barrera Hugo Ayala
 
86′
Chicharito called for offside.
 
85′
Clearly defensive sub for Mexico. Barrera exits the pitch and on comes another center back, Hugo Ayala of Tigres.
 
84′
Substitution J. Gutiérrez Nelson Bonilla
 
84′
Mexico will also make its last substitution. The calls to bring on Aldo de Nigris are pretty much moot now.
 
84′
Looks like Moreno was off-side at the time of the very last touch. Maza flicked it on for the Espanyol defender, who needed two headed touches to get it past the goalkeeper.
 
83′
Corner kick for El Salvador, who will make their last sub in search of parity. #11, Nelson Bonilla is on the pitch.
 
83′
GOAL! MEXICO! HECTOR MORENO!! He's surely done it now! A header off a free kick pushes past Villalobos.
 
82′
Assist E. Andrade
 
82′
Goal Héctor Moreno
 
80′
El Salvador looking more like the aggressor here. They don't want this draw and they'll look for three points at home. Mexico could use this to their advantage with their deadly counterattack.
 
79′
Substitution O. Romero E. Quintanilla
 
79′
Yellow Card R. Sánchez
 
79′
Eliseo Quintanilla is on the pitch. A huge roar for the former Mexican league player as Osael Romero comes off for El Salvador.
 
78′
Time's running out for both teams here. There will be a yellow card doled out to Isidro Metapan midfielder Ramon Sanchez.
 
76′
Chicharito pushes up front with two men shading him. He kicks it long and it's cleared and the ball is pinballed away by several defenders. Barrera finds it and rips a shot out of the box. Just wide!
 
76′
Severo Meza coughs the ball up to Alas who fires long to Blanco waiting in the box. Torres Nilo flies in and kicks it away for a corner. Jaime Alas will take it.
 
74′
Isidro Gutierrez goes nuts after a couple of dummies on the Mexican defense and fires outside the box but that shot goes very much wide off the left side of Corona's goal.
 
73′
Oh, that's some bad luck! Chicharito gets a great pass from Reyna but the ball squirts away after a bad bounce.
 
72′
Chepo de la Torre is complaining now after a call goes El Salvador's way. Non factor. The ball is cleared out of the Mexico area.
 
71′
Mexico really struggling now as El Salvador gain confidence and strength off the back of their goal.
 
70′
Corner kick for El Salvador, Purdy is wrestled off the ball by Torres and the ball is cleared.
 
69′
Yellow Card Rodríguez
 
69′
El Salvador counter with Burgos for Blanco up front. Chess match is getting interesting.
 
68′
Substitution Giovani dos Santos Á. Reyna
 
68′
Substitution Rafael Edgardo Burgos M. Blanco
 
68′
Now Giovani dos Santos will come off for Mexico. Angel Reyna coming in.
 
67′
Substitution Jose Andrés Guardado E. Andrade
 
67′
Guardado will come off for Andrade. Sensible sub for Chepo, although Mexico could benefit from Barrera coming off as well.
 
66′
Yellow Card X. García
 
65′
Goal Alfredo Alberto Pacheco
GOAL! EL SALVADOR! It's all tied up off the free kick! Pacheco scores with a left footed kick.
 
65′
Awful goalkeeping from Corona, but that's not Pacheco's fault. Corona was just blinded by the wall, which by the way, he set. El Salvador is back in it.
 
63′
Hand ball by Salcido. This is a dangerous opportunity for El Salvador, who are now below Mexico in the score sheet and feel the mounting pressure. Fans start chanting "¡Sí se puede!" ("Yes, we can!") in support.
 
62′
I'm being told that Zavala was a forward in his days as a youth player. It certainly seems like that is the case by the way he took that shot. Perfectly curled out of his right foot from 15 yards out.
 
60′
Assist Rodríguez
 
60′
Goal J. Zavala
GOAL! MEXICO! ZAVALA! It's 1-0, and you can just feel the energy drain out of the Cuscatlan after a perfect pass by Moreno finds the Monterrey midfielder wide open.
 
59′
Mexico trying to counterattack but they're met by several Selecta defenders who stop the run. Giovani is being stifled out there by Turcios and Portland man Steve Purdy.
 
58′
Guardado's back on the pitch for Mexico, by the way. Team doctor says it was just a bruise.
 
58′
Salcido sends one from about 60 yards out. That would have been something really special. Instead, it's a can of corn that will be fielded by El Salvador.
 
57′
Barrera's elbow is heating things up. Dennis Alas gets into it with Carlos Salcido. Meanwhile, it's a throw in for Mexico.
 
56′
Pablo Barrera appears to have struck a Salvadorian player with an elbow. Replay confirms it. Will there be a card?
 
55′
Pablo Barrera will kick it in for Mexico. Four Mexico players in the box. Chicharito getting seriously shoved. The kick is short, Moreno comes out and heads it but the effort goes over the bar.
 
54′
Barrera takes a throw in for Mexico and finds Giovani. Quiet night for the Tottenham attacking midfielder. Chicharito creates a bit of space for himself on the left and gets Mexico another corner kick.
 
53′
Andres Guardado is seriously stung after a hard foul to his right leg. The Valencia man has a history of injuries, here's hoping it's just temporary.
 
52′
Free kick to El Salvador. Pacheco takes it short and finds Sanchez, he puts it into the box for Burgos, no help up front for El Salvador's '9'. Mexico have yet to struggle against that lone ranger.
 
50′
Just an awful throw in from Giovani to Guardado, who sends the ball towards a goal kick after barely controlling Dos Santos' heater.
 
49′
El Salvador pushing forward now, but their attacks have been stifled by a very strong Mexico back line. What a find Chepo has made in young Severo Meza, who just a couple of seasons ago wasn't even starting for Monterrey.
 
47′
Counterattack for El Salvador as Burgos takes it all the way inside the box. He crosses for Romero but Meza heads away. Romero recovers and forces a throw in. Good rhythm to the second half so far for both teams.
 
47′
Chicharito takes a ball on the right side and springs loose, Giovani closes in the middle of the box and the Manchester United chips in, but the pass is too high for Dos Santos. You can't help but think what would have happened if the roles were reversed on that pass.
 
46′
Ooh, first attack of the second half is a good one. Meza has to clear and allow El Salvador a corner kick, which Jaime Alas takes and, well, Mexico ball.
 
46′
El Salvador kicks off and the second half is underway.
 
 
Both teams huddling up for second half and getting ready to go. No word yet on substitutions.
 
 
Teams are expected back on the pitch any minute.
 
 
That's it. No time added on. Mexican players are complaining about several nicks and injuries to the referee, but he's not listening. The Cuscatlan goes quiet for a second as the teams head to the dressing room.
 
44′
Torres Nilo on the left side takes a good pass from Guardado and lets loose a rocket. His cross is too strong and Barrera can't get it. The West Ham player takes his rage out on the advertising just outside the pitch. The crowd gets into it.
 
42′
Romero finds Sanchez at the edge of the box. Corona comes out but is beaten by Gutierrez at the end line. However, El Salvador make a mess out of what could have been such a dangerous play. The chance is lost.
 
41′
Right on cue, Barrera breaks off a run and takes a shot that's aptly saved by El Salvador's goalkeeper.
 
40′
Mexico need someone to open up El Salvador's defense in the next 45 minutes. Will Barrera or Guardado come out for the second half?
 
38′
Barrera goes around one defender but Turcios catches up to him and slides in to take possession away. Throw-in.
 
37′
Good chance for El Salvador, Burgos on the break takes a shot - it's blocked by Salcido but Corona is able to account for the change in trajectory and makes a good save.
 
36′
The free kick is taken and Zavala hammers it over the bar, but he was called for off-side anyhow.
 
36′
Giovani dos Santos is trampled from about 35 yards out. He's limping after a hard foul by Turcios.
 
35′
Match in a bit of a lull for a while now. Mexico have lost a bit of possession, but El Salvador can't do anything with the ball.
 
34′
Fancy footwork from Maza Rodriguez. The fans are not impressed at the Cuscatlan.
 
33′
Did you know? Ruben Israel has the El Salvador record for most consecutive wins managing the Selecta, with seven.
 
32′
The crowd clamored for Chicharito to be yellow carded as he apparently kept the play going long after the whistle. No luck for the home fans, though.
 
30′
CHICHARITO! GOAL! ... off side. Great pass from Zavala for the Manchester United man who goes around the 'keeper and puts it in the net. He was clearly not on side, though.
 
29′
Giovani dos Santos has to go back to his own side of the pitch to get a touch of the ball. Good job by El Salvador defense marking him so far.
 
28′
Zavala is called for a foul and Chepo is furious. His overcoat is now adorning the Salvadorian pitch.
 
27′
On the Salvadorian touchline, Ruben Israel is looking nervous. His team has lost possession and even with that last attack, they look to be dominated by a calmer Mexican team that have quieted the crowd down somewhat.
 
25′
SO CLOSE! El Salvador finally finish one! Burgos finally got his foot on a cross and fired first time to Corona. The Cruz Azul netminder had no trouble stopping it, though.
 
24′
El Salvador back on the prowl. Romero finds Jaime Alas and centers to an open Burgos, but Salcido's leg stops further damage from occurring.
 
23′
Burgos pressures Maza into a bad pass but Salcido recovers and Mexico narrowly avoid an awful defensive mistake.
 
22′
The tide has officially turned. Mexico are manipulating possession and finding ways to get to the Selecta goal. Salcido makes another foul, and despite the ref's chat he is still not booked.
 
21′
It looked like a hand ball by Turcios, but the ref deems it unintentional. Afterwards, a long pass for Hector Moreno finds the Espanyol defender offside.
 
20′
Barrera is getting pelted and soaked with Salvadorian drinks and coins. He takes his kick and another corner comes of it.
 
19′
BARRERA! Oh my was the West Ham man close! He broke through the Salvadorian line of defense and was about to take his shot one-on-one, but Turcios slides in and sends it past the end line. Corner kick.
 
18′
Again the left side for Mexico. Torres Nilo finds Chicharito who passes the ball back to Barrera, he finds Zavala and the Monterrey man passes through to Chicharito who again is a touch late. No danger.
 
17′
Mexico gaining ground slowly on the Salvadorian side of the pitch, but Meza loses the ball to Jaime Alas who makes a great run beating Slacido and centering to Burgos. He's double teamed and can't grab hold of Alas' pass.
 
16′
Boos raining down from the pitch as the Mexican players have manipulated possession in the past 60 seconds or so.
 
16′
Mexico grasping hold of possession now after figuring out that wing play is the most dangerous tool that the home team have prepared for tonight. Salcido, Moreno and Rodriguez keeping it among themselves in the Mexican side of the pitch. No pressure.
 
15′
Foul on German Burgos on the Salvadorian side of the pitch. The home team slowing down after an early onslaught that brought them exactly one shot on goal.
 
14′
Salcido commits another foul and our Honduran ref tells the Tigres man not to do it again, otherwise he'll be booked.
 
13′
Free kick for Mexico after a crunching tackle on Pablo Barrera. Guardado takes it and finds a Salvadorian head to clear his cross away.
 
11′
Guardado and Torres Nilo on that left side creating some danger now, Guardado gets free and fires an awful cross that's easily cleared. But Mexico looking a little better now.
 
10′
Mexico trying to generate offense by playing a simplified counterattack, but Hernandez has been too isolated from his wingers and midfielders to take advantage, as he's being covered by as many as three defenders.
 
9′
Alas winds up and fires towards Corona, who takes the ball on one bounce.
 
9′
Free kick for El Salvador from some 35 yards out. Dennis Alas to take it.
 
8′
Jaime Alas and Osael Romero have been strong on the wings for El Salvador. So far, Meza and Torres have struggled against them.
 
8′
Jaime Alas and Osael Romero have been strong on the wings for El Salvador. So far, Meza and Torres have struggled against them.
 
7′
Chicharito finds Gio with a good header, Dos Santos flicks it back and then two defenders crack Hernandez with tackles - no foul.
 
6′
El Salvador taking advantage of Mexico's willingness to give them possession all the way up to the middle of the field. Ramón Sánchez finds Jaime Alas but is stripped by Barrera.
 
5′
Mexico gets another goal kick after a long pass by Osael Romero on the right side is wide. Mexico try to grab hold of some kind of meaningful possession and Giovani makes his first touch. A threaded pass to Hernandez is a bit too long.
 
5′
Jaime Alas puts it in the box and Steven Purdy tries to head but the pass is too long. El Salvador have the ball back after a bit of confusion. It's all El Salvador at this point.
 
4′
Cheeky run by Romero who gets to the end line and serves back for Alas, but Salcido is there. Corner kick. Alas to take it.
 
4′
Mexico with a throw in. El Salvador's pressure is strong and Salcido can only clear away to give possession back to the home team.
 
3′
So far, Mexico's modus operandi has been to survive the initial onslaught, little possession by the visiting team and their offensive scheme has simply been to punt it ahead as far away from their own net as possible.
 
2′
Pacheco will take his shot with his left foot. He fires it in but it's knocked away. After that, a shot by Romero goes wide. Goal kick for Mexico.
 
1′
Dangerous free kick for El Salvador right on the edge of the box. Salcido was beaten by Alas and stuck out a foot to stop him.
 
1′
Last meeting between these two teams was a 5-0 thrashing of the Selecta in the 2011 Gold Cup. Chicharito was the hat-trick hero.
 
1′
The crowd explodes when Hector Moreno's long pass goes awry and out of play. El Salvador throw-in.
 
1′
LET'S PLAY SOME FUTBOL!
 
 
Mexico will kick off.
 
 
Chicharito is praying in the middle of the pitch. Soccer's version of Tebowing?
 
 
We're getting close to kickoff. Pre-game huddles for both teams as the captains make their last motivational speeches. The friendly green laser is also present, trying to get in Chicharito's eyeline.
 
 
Francisco "Maza" Rodriguez is Mexico's captain tonight. He exchanges banners with the Salvadorian captain.
 
 
As the anthem concludes, the stadium absolutely erupts. It's crazy. It's CONCACAF.
 
 
All blue uniforms for El Salvador. We can hear the Salvadorian national anthem with clarity as 50,000 voices flare up and sing in unison.
 
 
Mexico will play in their traditional color scheme. Green tops, white shorts, red socks.
 
 
The Mexican national anthem is now playing in the Cuscatlan. At least, that's what we think. We can't hear it over the vuvuzelas, drums and Salvadorians chanting over it.
 
 
The Cuscatlan is a packed house. More than 50,000 Salvadorian fans are here to support their team in what is the biggest qualifier to date for the Central Americans in the current campaign.
 
 
Some Mexican journalists were warned ahead of time not to attend due to the possibility of violence, and others boycotted the match due to the Salvadorian federation charging $50 for foreign credentials.
 
 
Great drama leading up to the Cuscatlan tonight as well. Mexico were serenaded by hundreds of Selecta fans outside their hotel last night as they attempted to disturb El Tri's sleep. Mexico manager Chepo de la Torre called it "a lullaby."
 
 
Both teams missing key players. Mexico's Rafael Marquez is still out due to injury, while El Salvador have been missing striker Rodolfo Zelaya for months now as he recovers from surgery.
 
 
Lineups are available for both teams. El Salvador will come out on the pitch with: Benji; Xavi, Turcios, Purdy, Pacheco; Isidro, Ramón, Dennis Alas; Jaime Alas, Romero, Burgos. Mexico counter with: Corona, Meza, Rodríguez, Moreno, Torres Nilo, Barrera, Zavala, Salcido, Guardado, G. Dos Santos, Hernández
 
 
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE commentary for the clash at the Cuscatlan between El Salvador and Mexico. I'm Eric Gomez and you can follow me on Twitter @goaleric - this should be a very exciting match. Mexico have only won once at the Cuscatlan and were defeated in 2009 by a Salvadorian team managed by Mexican Carlos de los Cobos.
 
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