Giovani dos Santos and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez both scored in the first half as Mexico beat Brazil 2-0 on Sunday in a final warm-up for the Mexico before their World Cup qualifying campaign.
It was the second straight game in which Mexico’s top two forwards each scored, indicating the Mexico attackers are in top form at the right time.
Mexico play Guyana on Friday to open the semi-final round of World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF region.
“This game served us well in our plans for qualifying,” Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre said through a translator. “We killed two birds with one stone in beating strong opponents and preparing ourselves for qualifying.”
Dos Santos opened the scoring in the 22nd minute on an unlikely conversion from a difficult angle near the sideline. The Tottenham Hotsour forward chipped the ball from the left side of the penalty area into the upper right corner of the net, beating goalkeeper Rafael Cabral, who was making his second start for Brazil.
Brazil coach Mano Menezes dismissed the shot as a “fortunate” strike.
“Giovani was crossing it into the box and scored,” Menezes said.
Ten minutes later, Dos Santos again was in the middle of the action. Brazilian defender Juan Jesus took him down inside the penalty area, a clumsy foul because Dos Santos’ back was to the goal. On the penalty, Cabral guessed correctly, but Hernandez’s strike found the net.
Brazil fielded a young squad of mostly under-23 players in preparation for next month’s Olympic Games in London. The players were in just their third game together and they found themselves trailing for the first time.
“In the first half, we needed more calm,” Menezes said. “When it was 0-0, we needed to slow down and show more patience, but this is normal with young players.”
CANADA 0, US 0
Canada goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld tipped Clarence Goodson’s shot over the crossbar in stoppage-time to preserve a goal-less draw between the US and Canada on Sunday.
Both teams used the international friendly as their last preparation for the start of North American qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on Friday, when Canada visit Cuba and the US host Antigua and Barbuda.
“Now the big time starts, the important games,” US captain Carlos Bocanegra said. “First and foremost, start off on the right foot. That’s important for us.”
The US lead the rivalry with their northern neighbors 13-8, with 10 matches drawn. Canada have gone 15 matches without a victory over the US, losing eight and drawing seven since last winning 2-0 in 1985 in Vancouver.
The US squad was coming off a 4-1 loss to five-time world champions Brazil in Washington on Wednesday last week.
“All in all, we’re ready,” US goalkeeper Tim Howard said. “We were a little sloppy towards the end, but we’re getting into a better rhythm. We bounced back from a loss, we had a clean sheet and now we’re ready to get down to business.”
The match was the first with Fulham striker Clint Dempsey and Los Angeles Galaxy playmaker Landon Donovan on the field at the same time since Jurgen Klinsmann took over as US coach in July last year. His record is 6-5, with two matches drawn.