Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
Wednesday night’s action in the Champions League produced a series of stunningly entertaining contests, with a total of 24 goals scored in the 8 fixtures played across the continent.
The drama that unfolded would have made for particularly compelling viewing for Mexican national team Manager Ricardo Ferretti.
It was an evening where European based Mexican internationals made a huge collective impact on proceedings, with almost all of the El Tri players involved making result-defining contributions for their respective clubs.
Hirving Lozano – PSV vs Tottenham Hotspur
Flying winger Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, one of the most promising players to emerge from Mexico in the last decade, enhanced his burgeoning reputation further last night with an excellent display against English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.
Starting from the right, but given licence to roam, Lozano actually scored his goal and the game’s opener, cutting in from the left-hand side. Lozano cleverly angled his run across Toby Alderweireld to make space for a shot, though his finish needed a huge slice of luck and a looping deflection off the Belgian defender’s outstretched leg to beat a stranded Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal.
After Spurs had battled back to take the lead before the hour mark, Lozano was heavily involved again in a controversial incident that changed the course of the game.
On another one of his line breaking bursts forward, Lozano was cut down outside the area by the advancing Lloris, who was shown a straight red card by referee Slavko Vincic for his out of control challenge. With Spurs down to 10-men, PSV forced an 87th minute equalizer though Luuk de Jong.
23-year old Lozano was PSV’s star man throughout however, and with his first Champions League goal of the season, he brings his impressive total for the 2018/19 campaign so far up to 9.
Lozano’s international teammate Erick Gutierrez, who has 3 goals in 4 games this season for PSV, was an unused substitute for the Eredivisie champions against Spurs.
16 – In the first two matchdays of the Champions League 2018-19, only Neymar (20) and Lionel Messi (18) were directly involved in more shots from their team than Hirving Lozano for @PSV. Threat. pic.twitter.com/0K0VzQjc0o
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) October 24, 2018
Hector Herrera and Jesus Manuel Corona – Lokomotiv Moscow vs FC Porto
In a potentially tricky game against Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia, Portuguese champions FC Porto produced a performance that was equal parts imposing and professional to run out 3-1 winners.
Mexican international duo Hector Herrera and Jesus Manuel Corona, who have 70 and 40 senior caps for their country respectively, were very much to the fore in the Dragões’ crucial Champions League Group D victory.
With the visitors leading 1-0 thanks to a successfully converted Moussa Marega penalty in the 26th minute, right winger Jesus Manuel Corona manufactured a second goal less than 10 minutes later, twisting and turning at the edge of the Lokomotiv box, before placing a pinpoint cross onto the head of his compatriot and skipper Hector Herrera, .
Herrera towered over his marker to meet the ball from 6 yards out, to power the accurate centre past Brazilian keeper Guilherme Marinato in the home goal. Lokomotiv pulled one back before the break thorough Anton Miranchuk, though any chances of a comeback were dashed just 2 minutes after the restart.
Yacine Brahimi skimmed a delicious through ball to Jesus Manuel Corona on 47 minutes and the 25-year old Mexican finished ferociously at the near post to restore Porto’s 2-goal buffer.
Herrera and Corona were two of Porto’s most active participants in helping them see the rest of the game out in relative comfort.
Mexican internationals in the Europa League
Another handful of Mexican internationals will be hoping to match the impact made by their countrymen in the Champions League, when they compete in the Europa League tonight.
56-times capped defender Diego Reyes is expected to be involved for Fenerbache in their important Europa League Group D clash with Anderlecht in Belgium later today. Reyes started both of Fenerbache’s earlier group matches against Dinamo Zagreb and Spartak Trnava.
Veteran goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who has played 96 times for Mexico, is likely to start for Standard Liege in their Group J meeting with Russian outfit Krasnodar at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne. Ochoa has yet to keep a clean sheet in this season’s Europea League – the 33- year old conceded 6 goals in Standard’s games against Sevilla and Akhisarspor.
Experienced utility player Miguel Layún will also expect to feature in some capacity for Villarreal in their UEL Group G encounter with Austrian club Rapid Vienna. Layún has only seen 13 minutes of Europa League action so far this season, having come off the bench for El Submarino Amarillo in their 3-3 draw with Spartak Moscow in Russia earlier this month.
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