Carlos Vela Provides Late Heroics, Francisco Rodríguez Scores and Chicharito Starts
A weekly recap of how Mexican internationals fared over the weekend.
Vela scored two minutes into stoppage time to rescue Roy Hodgson in his first game as West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League on Sunday.
He connected on his first goal for the club since he went on loan from Arsenal to give WBA a 1-1 road draw with Wolverhampton. The tie kept WBA outside of the relegation zone and three points ahead of last-place Wolverhampton.
“I am enjoying it because I came here to play and to try to help the team but I have to work hard and improve to my level to help the team," Vela said, according to the Express & Star newspaper. "[It] was a good day for me and I hope I have more days like that.
“I feel very good. I am so happy that I could help the team a little bit to take a point," he added. "Obviously we wanted to win but at this moment we need to take any points we can and work very hard to make sure we’re in the best possible position in the table You are always trying to capitalize on a mistake from the other team and to find something. We got the goal in the last minute and got one point."
The 21-year-old striker looked dangerous in his short time on the field. Minutes after entering the game for Graham Dorrans in the 72nd minute, he forced goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey to make a vital save.
The striker found himself at the right place at the right time when he put in a rebound after Hennessey could not handle James Morrison's shot with time running out.
Hodgson said Vela "did very, very well. He's very interesting. Arsenal don't make mistakes with talents they sign."
"He's been a bit unlucky at Arsenal from what I can understand, in terms of injuries," Hodgson continued. "He is a good loan signing for West Brom and he looked lively and scored a goal. OK, it was from a rebound and you could say, 'Anyone can score that' But that's not my experience. You need to be a goal-scorer to be in the right position.''
Chicharito started for ManU in its 1-0 home victory over Crawley Town in the English F.A. Cup fifth-round match. He did not score, but did help set up United's lone goal in the 28th minute. Darron Gibson sent Hernández a 40-yard through-ball, but he was tackled before he could get a shot off. Gibson took the resulting corner kick and this time the ball found the head of Wes Brown, who knocked into just inside the far post.
Maza certainly enjoyed an eventful week for PSV Eindhoven. He started on defense for the Dutch First Division power in its 2-2 win over Lille (France) in the UEFA Europe League on Tuesday. On Sunday, Rodríguez put the exclamation point on a 4-1 triumph over NAC Breda, scoring in the 82nd minute. Brazilian defender Marcelo hit the post off a Stef Nijland corner kick and Maza was found some space to first home a rebound with a left foot for the final score of the match. The win left PSV two points clear atop the league.
It was only a 3-2 pre-season friendly loss to Chivas de Guadalajara for Márquez and his New York Red Bulls teammates, but the veteran defender had many people talking about a goal he had set up in the first half.
Márquez sent a 40-yard long ball to a streaking Dane Richards with a perfect ball down the right flank. Richards nut-megged a defender and scored the first goal of the match.
"That was world class goal on any level," Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said. "It's an absolutely fantastic goal."
Tim Ream, who partners with Márquez in central defense, admitted he was in awe. "It's like a Hail Mary," he said. "He does it on purpose. It's not a ''Let's hit and hope somebody runs onto it.' He puts the perfect weight on it. Every time, whoever is running through is going to get to the ball and get a touch and they're going to be in it.
"It's absolutely incredible to me," Ream continued. "Sometimes I catch myself in awe and I realize that 'Oh, I should be moving and be in a better position.' But it is absolutely incredible."
Defender Efraín Juárez sat the bench and did not play in Celtic's 3-0 derby win over Rangers in Glasgow in Scottish Premier League action.
The left fullback started and played the entire match for Fulham in its 1-0 defeat to Bolton in the English Premier League. He committed one foul and attempted one cross.
Jonathan dos Santos
Dos Santos played the entire 90 minutes at midfield but did not figure in the scoring for Barcelona B in its 2-1 loss at Elche in the Spanish Second Division.
Barrera, who had played in West Ham United's last two F.A. Cup matches, was hopeful he would play against Burnley in a fifth-round clash on Monday. Barrera had an assist on a Benni McCarthy goal in a reserves match against Chelsea last Wednesday.
"I have to wait to have my chance to play," Barrera told West Ham TV. "Confidence is important and it was good to play last week. Hopefully I can keep that form going. I expect to play like that again or even do better.
"Of course, I feel I said if I don't play, but I just have in mind that I have to keep working harder if I want to play more and be a first choice," Barrera added. "Every player wants to play. I won't give up and I know that the right way to approach it is to work hard and wait for an opportunity to show my best."
Dos Santos, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, replaced Bakircioglu Kennedy in the 67th minute of Racing Santander's 1-0 win over Getafe in Spain. He helped set up the penalty kick that decided the match in the 87th minute.
Michael Lewis, who has covered international soccer for more than three decades, is a regular contributor to Fox News Latino. He can be reached at SoccerWriter516@aol.com.
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