On a rainy Thursday night in Chicago, Mexico and Bosnia-Herzegovina played to an entertaining 2-1 win for Mexico after a goal in second-half injury time by Javier Hernandez. Unlike many matches for Mexico in the United States, this friendly featured a significant number of Bosnian fans, which certainly helped the atmosphere. Likewise, both teams showed good play and seemed eager to get a result.
Mexico began the match well as forward Aldo de Nigris beat defender Sanel Jahic just inside the box with a mix of luck and skill when Jahic slipped a bit on the slick field. De Nigris tried a speculative shot from an unfavorable angle at Bosnian goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, and the resulting save produced a rebound. Giovani dos Santos was in perfect position for the ball and tapped it in the net to put Mexico up 1-0 in the sixth minute.
In both halves, Mexico started very strong, but Bosnia took over as each half wore on. The breakthrough for them came in the 29th minute, as Edin Dzeko made a great run after a throughball that came via the midfield. What allowed for the jailbreak by Dzeko was a momentary dummy by Zvjezdan Misimovic on the through ball that froze the Mexican defense. After Misimovic faked a play on the ball to spring Dzeko, the Manchester City player had the ball alone on goal and was able to round Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and score easily to even the score at 1-1.
Mexico started the second half very well with Pablo Barrera sending several good crosses into the box in the early minutes, but once again, Bosnia was able to control the middle 20 minutes of the half. Mexico coach Luis Fernando Tena used the second half to test new players and formations, bringing Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez on for dos Santos and playing two forwards up top for a stretch, an unusual formation for Mexico of late. He also brought on midfielder Andres Guardado, who predictably slowed the pace of the game down from the left side of midfield. Chicharito was very well-marked, and while he wasn't able to get the same space and chances he showed for club and country in 2011, he had three key chances on the night, the last of which resulted in the winning strike.
In the 80th minute, he forced a quick double save after he made two shots in the box. His first shot was saved by Begovic, and he tried again on the rebound, which was saved by an outfield player at the goalmouth. He found little space until his winner, when he again made a quick shot, which was stopped by Begovic, before poking a toe on the rebound that squirted into the goal. It was not the prettiest goal, but it could prove useful for the Manchester United striker's confidence as Mexico moves into World Cup qualifying.