After a successful start to the Tata Martino era, Mexican players were back with their clubs this weekend with some players standing out as they eased back into the grind and others left to cope with a difficult return.
Things went well for Guillermo Ochoa. The goalkeeper's Standard Liege side started the championship phase of the Belgian league this weekend and despite conceding early, Ochoa kept the rest of Antwerp's efforts out. Standard's attack did the rest, scoring three unanswered to start off the mini-tournament with a big victory.
After missing out on El Tri's recent contests with an ankle injury that became the source of plenty of controversy, Jesus "Tecatito" Corona was fit enough to be in the starting lineup for Porto and played all 90 minutes of a 3-2 victory over Braga.
Hector Herrera also played the full 90 minutes, captaining the team as usual. Herrera missed the Mexico camp but informed Martino before the call-up was made that he didn't want to be called, avoiding the manager's wrath. He seems to be bound for Atletic Madrid, but first up for both players is a rematch against Braga in the cup, another league game and then the Champions League contest against Liverpool.
Which is worse for the other Mexican playing in Portugal, Antonio Briseno: Martino being asked about him and telling reporters he simply didn't think the former Chivas defender was good enough to be called in, or the fact that his team looks certain for relegation? He started for Feirense on Monday against Vitoria Setubal in a 1-0 defeat.
Over in the Netherlands, it was a rough day for Hirving Lozano. He got the start for PSV, but the Eindhoven club lost to Ajax, 3-1 and now has just a two-point lead on the Amsterdam club in the Eredivisie. Lozano had an excellent chance just before the hour mark but was thwarted by Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana. Erick Gutierrez was on the bench, continuing a run of inaction in league play for the Pachuca product.
In Spain, the weekend was surprisingly bereft of Mexico national team players. Andres Guardado was suspended for Real Betis, while Diego Lainez didn't make the squad in the Verdiblancos' 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano. Real Sociedad center back Hector Moreno and Leganes defender Diego Reyes also were left out of their respective squads while Celta de Vigo center back Nestor Araujo was injured on international duty last week.
Things were more active in the Premier League. Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez came on at halftime for West Ham but couldn't find the back of the net in a 2-0 loss for the Hammers.