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WC Qualification CONCACAF

  • June 12, 2012
  • • 9:30 PM
  • • Estadio Cuscatlán, San Salvador
  • Referee: J. Pineda
  • • Attendance: 29712
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El Salvador 1-2 Mexico: Moreno decides gritty CONCACAF qualifier

El Salvador 1-2 Mexico: Moreno decides gritty CONCACAF qualifier

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Hector Moreno's first ever international goal gave Mexico a vital three away points in World Cup qualifying.

Qualifying for the World Cup in CONCACAF is never pretty. The trick, as Jose Manuel de la Torre's side has proven adept at doing, is grinding out wins in tough conditions. A 2-1 win over El Salvador in San Salvador on Tuesday night was a prime example, with the winning goal coming from an offside Hector Moreno.

The night before, hundreds of fans sang and made a racket outside Mexico's hotel. De la Torre grimly called it "a lullaby." Perhaps a lack of sleep contributed to a slow start by El Tri, with the hosts blitzing the match in the opening period.

But Mexico slowly worked back into the game. Víctor Turcios needed to rush back to bail out his keeper when it looked like Pablo Barrera was clear on goal, and Javier Hernandez had a goal called back for offside half an hour in.

The second half started much more briskly and eventually offered three goals.

After an hour, Moreno slid a pass through the entire Salvadorian team and Jesus Zavala curled it home. Immediately, the 50,000 in attendance fell eerily silent.

El Salvador responded within five minutes. Former New York Red Bulls fullback Alfredo Pacheco scored a left-footed free kick from 25 yards out. Jose de Jesus Corona didn't move as the ball swerved around him and cleanly into the net.

That looked like it might be it for the match, but with 10 minutes remaining Moreno showed his offensive chops once again. A free kick bounced through to him, and the defender needed two headers to finally shove the ball past the goalkeeper. The goal counted as the winner -- and Moreno's first for Mexico -- but when the ball was last flicked, Moreno was offside.

The match finished out with El Salvador pushing forward and Mexico hitting out on the break. El Tri has won both its World Cup qualifiers this week, taking it top of the group with six points. El Salvador is third with one point.

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