A potentially serious injury to Javier Hernandez hung a dark cloud over Mexico’s 0-0 friendly draw against Honduras on Wednesday.
Hernandez was substituted in the 41st minute after being pushed over by Honduras’ Brayan Beckeles at NRG Stadium in Texas, immediately beckoning to the bench with his left arm, while holding his right arm limp.
It was the latest blow for Miguel Herrera’s team, who head into the CONCACAF Gold Cup on a seven-match winless streak as they failed to penetrate the Honduras defence despite several first-half near misses.
Carlos Vela struck both posts in the first half alone, threatening to open the scoring with two curling left-foot strikes in the 26th and 37th minutes, respectively.
The Real Sociedad forward hit the left upright midway through the opening period with a shot from outside the 18-yard box, with Honduras goalkeeper Donis Escober beaten.
Hernandez was on hand to fire a shot on-target from the remnants, but Escober safely collected.
Seven minutes later, Hernandez was put through by Vela on goal – but with Escobar coming off his line to reduce the Manchester United man’s angle, the man known as ‘Chicharito’ pulled his left-foot shot wide.
Mexico’s frustration continued four minutes later, when Vela – with only Honduras defenders in front of him – earned a free-kick, and the number 11’s effort from the set-piece was denied only by the right post.
Defender Paul Aguilar almost became an unlikely goal-scorer for Mexico, as just seconds later he forced a reflex save from Escobar – denying the America man the chance to add to his three international goals.
Honduras got on the front foot early in the second half, with Anthony Lozano ghosting into the box and he was on the verge of heading home before the onrushing Guillermo Ochoa punched to safety for Mexico.
Mexico had strong claims for a penalty in the 76th minute – with substitute Jesus Corona brought down by Johnny Palacios inside the area – but the referee ignored the appeals.
Palacios was already on a yellow card at the time.
Honduras had a chance cleared off the line in the 80th minute as they pushed for a winner, but there was no goal forthcoming.
Tensions boiled over late, with coaches Jorge Luis Pinto and Miguel Herrera exchanging words in the technical area.
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