By Adam Bostock
The prolific Reds marksman struck the winner in the 66th minute as the Mexicans came back from 0-1 down to beat Guatemala 2-1 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey, USA. Carlos Ruiz scored a shock fifth-minute opener for the underdogs but when Aldo De Nigris equalised just after half-time, it gave Chicharito the platform to go on and settle the quarter-final clash, a feat he achieved with a sublime back heel from Pablo Barrera’s driven right-wing cross.
“This time it was different than the other games when we scored first,” said Chicharito. “We went in and worked hard in the second half to get chances. My goal was instinct. I saw the ball at my feet and put the ball in the net.”
Chicharito’s winner was his sixth goal in the biennial tournament for North and Central America and the Caribbean. He scored a hat-trick in the opener against El Salvador and followed up with a double against Cuba. Only Costa Rica, Mexico’s final group-stage opponents, have stopped him from scoring so far.
The Mexican’s next opponents Honduras could have a problem in Houston on Wednesday, 22 June. The venue for the semi-final clash, the Reliant Stadium, is where Chicharito scored on his first-ever appearance in a United shirt during last summer’s tour of the US.