Little Pea Hernandez has the skill to score with most any part of his body. But as this weekend’s contest proved, his new nickname should be Targaryen Hernandez — Targaryen-andez! What???! Shut up! I just crushed it with that!
In the final game of Confederations group stage, Mexico and Japan played for pride. Both went into the third game with zero points and zero chance of advancing. Thanks to great skills and ball movement from the rest of the team (I’m looking at you, Gio!), Chicharito was able to score twice for Mexico. (We’ll just ignore how he failed to convert a penalty and its rebound.) Both those goals were genius headers.
Chicharito’s head is pure gold. You know who else has a golden head?
Yep, that jackass. But we all know that he doesn’t make it, and Dani tells us why. Chicharito has survived the molten gold and proved himself a true dragon. Make room. There’s a Targaryen-andez lurking on this world.
For those who want to relive a great Game of Thrones scene from Season 1
PHOTOS: Javier/Chicharito/Targaryen-andez Hernandez scores in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Japan. And Viserys Targaryen gets crowned.
Did anyone else catch the song playing in the stadium after Olympic soccer semi? What I heard from my web stream was Gaga’s “Edge of Glory.”
A tense final minutes, followed by an intense few seconds. Goosebumps. Jumping. Yelling. Watery eyes.
Heart rate settles back down and I hear Gaga. Whoa! Who knew that a song about getting a guy would be the PERFECT thing for this Olympic occasion?
I don’t know who was considered the favorite coming in to today’s game. What was known was that Japan had not conceded a single goal in the competition. Those odds were definitely not in Mexico’s favor when it found itself on the wrong side of a 1-0 score in the early minutes of the game.
Those plucky Mexicans came back to tie. To lead. And to extend it in additional time.
Now, they’ll face Brazil, a team who is on its own windmill-chasing quest. Brazil hasn’t won a medal since 1988. They’ve never won gold. Everyone says it’s their time. They’ve put in the effort and they’ve waited through the years.
I say, Screw that! Mexico hasn’t won a medal, period. We need this more than Brazil. They’re already established in the upper-echelons of football. Mexico is one of those good-but-not-great teams that’s easily dismissed by Europe and South America.
Don’t push us cuz we’re close to the edge… of glory!
PHOTOS: Oribe Peralta (9) falls to his knees at the end of the match that will send Mexico to finals; Other teammates celebrate.
I told you so!
The worn-out refrain of any Mexico fan is that we are going to win — the match, the tournament, the gold medal. People will always support their teams, but Mexico fans are blindingly optimistic that borders on naïve. We are fanatics. The country can be going to shit but if El TRI performs well (even the u-17), all’s well in the world.
The flipside of that coin is the contingent of naysayers who always think Mexico will lose. The people who think we have a bunch of talent but no idea how to convert it to goals and wins. The low-expectation crowd that isn’t disappointed when we lose and is surprised when we win.
Like my cousin…
That first text arrived shortly after the start of the second half of the Mexico-Japan Olympic semifinal. They were tied 1-1. She says Mexico will play their hearts out but lose, like always. I “politely” tell her to shut up. And seconds later, Mexico scores!!! GOOOOOOOOLLLLLLL de MEXICOOOOOOOO
Mexico will be on the medal stand. The quest for Olympic gold continues.
- Mexico come from behind to secure spot in Olympics final (101greatgoals.com)
- Grant Wahl: Mexico realizing its potential in beating Japan 3-1 (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- Mexico seals place in gold medal game (soccerbyives.net)
I’m imagining the Rocky soundtrack playing in the background as Hector Herrera starts running around the field, arms wide open, grin even wider. Mexico will — at least — equal their best appearance in an Olympic games. They’re going to the semifinals.
That victory lap is very well-deserved. Those quarterfinal games of Men’s Olympic Soccer over the weekend were a cardiac-arrest moment for fans all over the world. Honduras took an early lead on Brazil, only to see it stripped away. Team GB goes all the way to penalty kicks against Korea. Only one player — the last player — missed his PK, which unfortunately knocked out the host team.
And Mexico, yes mis tricolores, played 120 minutes to secure a spot in the semifinals. Tied 2-2 after regulation, Mexico scored in the first 15 minutes of extra time.
It’s way more stressful to watch as a team hangs to the slimmest of leads. It’s in those situations when you realize that time really is a fickle bitch — if you want to savor a moment, it flies; if you want it to hurry up and be done; it feels like it goes backwards.
Herrera brought the collective sigh of relief when he scored the definitive 4-2 goal against Senegal.
The semifinal round starts tomorrow. Mexico will face off against Japan at 9 a.m. PST. Then, Brazil and Korea play at 11:45 a.m. PST.
As I settle in for another excruciating 90 minutes, I’ll blast up the Rocky theme song and let the boys in green relish in a little more running… and jumping.
PHOTOS (from top): Mexico’s four goal-scorers celebrate during the game. Hector Herrera runs like mad in the final goal of the match. Gio Dos Santos, Jorge Enriquez and Javier Aquino celebrate. Aquino keeps the piggy-back party alive. Herrera, Dos Santos, Aquino and Enriquez each scored a goal.
- Brazil survive scare from Honduras in men’s soccer (theglobeandmail.com)
- Men’s Olympic Soccer: Mexico dominates in extra time while Great Britain comes up short in penalties (univisionnews.tumblr.com)
- Olympic Soccer 2012: Semifinals Schedule, Previews and Predictions (bleacherreport.com)