Hernandez goal, Corona saves lift Mexico to win

Javier Hernandez (middle) attempts the shot that resulted in the game's only goal as Mexico defeated Ecuador in an international friendly on March 28, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo: Mexsport)

LOS ANGELES – Javier Hernandez and goalkeeper Jesus Corona combined to give Mexico a victory in its first match of the year, a 1-0 decision over Ecuador on Saturday night in front of 88,409 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The Tricolor won for the fifth time in six matches as it begins preparations for the Copa America and CONCACAF Gold Cup later this year.

Hernandez scored his 39th international goal in the 14th minute.  The Real Madrid forward dispossessed Ecuador defender Frickson Erazo on the left, dribbled towards the middle and cracked home a right-footed shot from 20-yards out that first ricocheted off the right post.

Corona preserved the triumph in the 73rd minute, diving to his right to parry away Miller Bolaños' penalty kick after Diego Reyes was ruled to have fouled Angel Mena on the edge of the goal box.

That save was Corona's third big stop against Bolaños on the evening.  Within the match’s opening six minutes, the Cruz Azul custodian did well to thwart the 24-year-old forward twice.

Corona also made a pivotal save in the 37th minute.  As Ecuador's Jefferson Montero was receiving a through ball in the left side of the penalty area, Corona went to the ground in perfectly-timed fashion and deflected Montero's rising shot with his left hand.

The game was Mexico's first in the Los Angeles area since 2011, when El Tri rallied from a 2-0 deficit to earn a 4-2 win over the United States in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final in front of 93,420 at the Rose Bowl.

Mexico will be back in action on Tuesday against Paraguay at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.