Dos Santos and Moreno shine in Spain
A Jonathan Dos Santos goal and a solid effort in defense from Hector Moreno highlighted a busy weekend for Mexicans in Spain, while many of their countrymen elsewhere on the continent had less to call home about.
The younger Dos Santos brother scored his second of the season for Barcelona B as the “cules” tied 1-1 at relegation-threatened Girona. The young Mexican scored from distance midway through the second half before the hosts equalized late.
In nearby Barcelona, Moreno put in a solid effort in going the full 90 in central defense as Espanyol won its first in six, thrashing third place Valencia 4-0.
Elsewhere, Zaragoza took a small step towards salvation with a 1-0 win over Granada, though Pablo Barrera was once again nowhere to be found on the field or bench.
Spain’s second flight saw Deportivo La Coruna take a giant step back towards La Liga. Andres Guardado’s side extended its lead at the top of the table with a last gasp 3-2 victory over Celta Vigo in the Galician derby. After Depor took a second-minute lead, Guardado came close twice before a wild second half in which Celta fought back from two goals down only to see Borja snatch all three points for Deportivo with a 90th minute strike.
Further down the second flight table, Anibal Zurdo and Guadalajara put more distance between themselves and the drop zone with a 1-0 win away at Alcoyano. Mexican-born dual-national Anibal played the full 90 up top, and continues to lead his side in goal scoring on the year with six tallies. In the fourth division, Taufic Guarch wasn’t involved in Espanyol B’s victory at Vilafranca.
Ochoa impressive again in France
It was a big day for Guillermo Ochoa in France despite a 4-1 setback at champion Lille. The goalkeeper had another impressive day in net for Ajaccio, recording several acrobatic saves. Despite his efforts, the champions raced to an easy victory, putting in four even as Ochoa turned away a pair of efforts from Eden Hazard and a point-blank attempt from Dimitri Payet in keeping his team in the match before conceding two late goals to cap the rout.
Mexicans sit in the UK
The playing time story was different for England-based Mexicans.
Javier Hernandez watched the duration of Manchester United’s 4-0 romp over Aston Villa from the bench, and Gio Dos Santos did the same as Tottenham crashed out of the FA Cup with a 5-1 semifinal loss to Chelsea. Down a league, Antonio Pedroza also dressed but did not play for Crystal Palace in a 1-1 draw home to Ipswich Town.
Just north in Scotland, Efrain Juarez didn’t dress as Celtic was surprisingly bounced from Cup play by Hearts.
More sitting and watching in Europe...
Back on the continent in German action, Stuttgart stomped Werder Bremen, 4-1, though Mexican defender Francisco Rodriguez only watched from the bench. Ulises Davila also missed out on Vitesse’s win over Den Haag in Holland, the U-20 failing to make even the bench once again.
Edson Rivera and Braga had the weekend off as Portugal’s Cup competition took center stage, as did Aris and reported Chivas target Nery Castillo in Greece, where action is scheduled for midweek.
Pardo sets up goal in MLS action
In MLS, Pavel Pardo played the full 66, as the Chicago-Houston tilt was called early due to a lightning storm which raged across the area. After a 70-minute first-half delay, Pardo had a hand in the Fire’s 27th minute equalizer when his free kick glanced off Logan Pause and found its way off the crossbar and into the net. The Mexican field general was credited with an assist on the play, and the game ended early in a 1-1 draw.
In New York, Rafa Marquez went the distance for the Red Bulls, but it was fellow Mexican-abroad Rafael Baca who scored for the visitors as San Jose managed a 2-2 away draw. Both Mexicans played the full match, with Marquez involved in a pair of scuffles, and picking up a late yellow card for his troubles.