Tottenham Hotspur misfit Giovani Dos Santos fired Mexico to a 2-0 victory over Brazil on Sunday, scoring a glorious opener before Javier Hernandez added a second from the spot.
The in-form pair also scored both goals in Mexico’s 2-1 win over Bosnia three days earlier.
Despite deploying a fearsome attacking trio of Neymar, Hulk and Leandro Damiao, Brazil was unable to find a response to El Tri’s two first-half goals.
The upset not only enthralled the partisan sold-out crowd at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, it also provided a big boost for Mexico in its last friendly before the qualifying campaign commences for the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
Giovani was Mexico’s liveliest outlet throughout the first half, breaking the deadlock in the 22nd minute with a cunning chip from wide on the left-hand side of the penalty area.
Disguised as a cross, the shot sneaked over goalkeeper Rafael Cabral and curled perfectly into the top-right-hand corner of the goal.
Brazil was unlucky not to already be in front, as Damiao had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside in the 10th minute and Hulk had a strong penalty appeal turned down 10 minutes later.
But the Brazilian defense could not handle Giovani, who drew a needless foul to win his side a penalty in the 31st minute. Hernandez duly dispatched the spot kick.
“Of course it’s special for me, I’m Brazilian too, it is the country of my family,” said Giovani, the Mexican-born son of Brazilian footballer Zizinho.
Brazil suffered from the absence of Kaka, Ramires and Dani Alves, opting to field a younger side in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
AC Milan center back Thiago Silva and Tottenham midfielder Sandro added some much-needed steel, but the Samba boys were still undone all too easily at the back.
Going forward, Neymar proved particularly disappointing given the hype that surrounds his every move at present.
“This game served us well in our plans for qualifying,” said Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre. “We killed two birds with one stone in beating a strong opponent and preparing ourselves for qualifying.'”
Despite Aldo De Nigris’ strong showing against Wales last month, the last two games have proved Giovani and Hernandez must start for Mexico in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
The former looks fresh, having spent much of the season on Tottenham’s bench, while the latter's last-minute winner against Bosnia appears to have restored some confidence after a tough second season with Manchester United.
Mexico faces Guayana at home on Friday (8 p.m. ET), then El Salvador away the following Tuesday, June 12 (9.30 p.m. ET).
Under 23 news
Mexico’s under-23 side will go into the Olympics full of confidence, having been crowned champions of France’s annual Toulon Tournament for the first time.
El Tri beat Turkey 3–0 in the final on Friday, with goals from Candido Saul Ramirez, Hiram Mier and Alan Pulido.
Marco Fabian finished top scorer with seven goals, while Pachuca midfielder Hector Miguel Herrera was named player of the tournament.
By Duncan Tucker (@DuncanTucker)
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