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Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, Mexico leave Brazil with a win

June 22, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • Mexico's Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez points to the sky after scoring his first of two goals against the Japan team during their FIFA Confederations Cup matchup on Saturday.
Mexico's Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez points to the… (Sebastiao Moreira / EPA )

If Jose Manuel de la Torre, manager of the embattled Mexican national soccer team, manages to keep his job through the end of the current World Cup cycle he may have Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez to thank.

That's because Hernandez headed home a pair of second-half goals Saturday to lift El Tri to a face-saving 2-1 win over Japan in the Confederations Cup in Brazil.

Mexico won't advance in the tournament, a dress rehearsal for next summer's World Cup, after losing to Italy and Brazil in its first two matches. But after winning just one of its six matches in World Cup qualifying this year, Mexico needed to beat Japan to come home from the tournament with something other than embarrassment.

And Mexico took its frustration and anger out on the Japanese, blistering the net with 20 shots, nine of them on goal.

Hernandez scored his first goal in the 54th minute, then made it 2-0 Mexico 12 minutes later. That proved to be the winning goal, though, when Japan's Shinji Okazaki got his team on the scoreboard with four minutes left in regular time.

Hernandez then missed a chance for a hat trick when he failed to convert on a penalty kick three minutes into injury time.

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