The on-loan Arsenal striker continued his fine season in Spain with a quality goal against Villarreal.Vela continues fine season with a highlight-reel goal
Carlos Vela’s spectacular strike highlighted the week for Mexicans abroad. It was also a weekend of reappearances for Mexicans in Europe, as a number who had been buried on the bench showed up on the field for the first time in several weeks.
Vela’s effort came in the 86th minute of a full shift. A memorable overhead volley off a Xabi Prieto found the back of net to give Real Sociedad a share of the points versus Villarreal. It was Vela’s tenth of the season and fifth goal in as many games, matching a five game unbeaten run for the northerners.
Elsewhere in Spain, Pablo Barrera was back on the field for Zaragoza, playing the final 21 minutes as his team inched ever closer to relegation with a 1-0 loss at Mallorca. On the mainland, Hector Moreno had his hands full in the center of defense for Espanyol, whose European hopes took a blow with a 3-1 loss at Atletico Madrid.
In the second flight, Andres Guardado put in a solid 90-minute effort as Deportivo La Coruna further solidified its path back to La Liga with a thrilling 4-3 win over Elche. Also in the second division, Jonathan Dos Santos celebrated his 22nd birthday with a 90-minute performance as Barcelona B won its eighth straight. Wrapping up Spanish action, Anibal Zurdo put in a full shift for Guadalajara in a 1-0 win over Gimnastic.
Castillo finishies season with Aris
In Greece, Nery Castillo’s 45-minute shift at forward may also be his last for some time in an Aris shirt, as the Greek SuperLiga wrapped up the regular season with Aris on the outside looking in for European football next year. Castillo spent the usual amount of time suspended and out of favor this season, but did have a decent run of games in all, scoring a total of seven goals across all competitions. The rumored Chivas target is under contract in Greece for one more season.
Dos Santos reappears with Spurs
Also making a cameo after a long absence, though shorter than Castillo’s half of work, was Gio Dos Santos. The Tottenham forward played the last few minutes of Spurs’ 1-0 loss to relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers. Like the rest of his teammates, Dos Santos had a frustrating, if short, night.
At Crystal Palace in the second flight, Antonio Pedroza saw 29 minutes of action and was on the field when his team tied the match late off a scramble following a corner. That makes Celtic’s Efrain Juarez the only Mexican in Great Britain to miss out over the weekend.
Also missing out, as has become the usual in Vitesse, was young midfielder Ulises Davila, who will be happy to head back to England after the season. Troubling for Mexico fans will also be the recent decrease in playing time for defender Francisco Rodriguez, who saw just mop-up minutes in Stuttgart’s away draw at Cologne. Maza came on for Serdi Tasci in the 84th minute because of injury to the German international, so the Mexican be in line to start next weekend.
Ochoa vital for Ajaccio again
In France, Memo Ochoa was once again a standout for Ajaccio, this time keeping a clean sheet in a scoreless draw with Nancy. Four saves by the Mexican netminder helped the Corsicans to a vital point, which lifted them at least temporarily out of the drop zone.
Finally, in MLS action, Pavel Pardo put in his usual full shift in central midfield as Chicago edged winless Toronto, 3-2, while Rafael Marquez served the first of the three-game suspension handed him for his actions in last week’s match with San Jose. Countryman Rafael Baca went 82 minutes for San Jose in a 3-1 win which moved the Quakes top of the Western Conference.