By Avi Creditor / Sports Illustrated
Mexico wasn’t at its best and may have gotten some help from the man in the middle, but El Tri still punched a ticket to the Copa America quarterfinals and eliminated Jamaica with a 2-0 win in front of a packed house at the Rose Bowl Thursday night.
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who had never scored before against Jamaica, broke a deadlock in the 18th minute with a clinical header, and his substitute, Oribe Peralta, scored in the 81st to account for the scoring.
Jamaica had its chances, but Clayton Donaldson’s finishing left much to be desired, and Guillermo Ochoa came up with a pair of massive saves on Michael Hector to keep the Reggae Boyz off the board. There was controversy in the form of a non-call on a would-be penalty, when Donaldson was tackled by Yasser Corona in the box, but Jamaica’s pleas went unheard.
Mexico is now unbeaten in 21 matches, including a perfect 9-0-0 record under manager Juan Carlos Osorio (outscoring opponents 19-1 in that time), and Chicharito is now just one goal behind Jared Borgetti’s national record of 46 after his tally on Thursday.