After a few years of shooting at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, it was a bit disorienting to see the place near capacity for the first time. A's? Nope. Raiders? Uh-uh. What does it take to fill the Coliseum these days? El Tri aka Mexico's national team who faced Paraguay Saturday.
Captain Rafael Marquez was back in the team, making a landmark 100th appearance.
These days, El Tri is all about 22-year-old Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez who is scoring at a torrid pace for country and club (Manchester United).
Chicharito was all over the field against Paraguay, and the South American side simply had no answer.
It took him all of seven minutes to find the net, and then the arms of Pablo Barrera in celebration.
Less than 30 minutes later, Chicharito found the back of the net again, this time on a blast from point blank.
Mexico's other goal came from rising midfielder Andres Guardado who definitely gave it up afterwards:
Mexico's other England-based striker, Pablo Barrera of West Ham didn't find the net, but created several chances and sprung Hernandez a few times.
In the second half, Mexico took advantage of the extra substitutions to get some of their reserves onto the field. Giovani Dos Santos, one of the young stars who played very well in Mexico's last match in Oakland in 2009, got about 20 minutes and worked hard for a couple of dangerous shots. It's hard to figure out what's going on with Dos Santos, and where he goes from here. Stuck behind Barrera and Hernandez, unless Mexico figures out how to get three strikers on the field at the same time, Dos Santos is going to be the odd man out as he was at club side Tottenham Hotspur. That has to be tough for such a talented young player.
A convincing win for Mexico who now has the be considered a big favorite for this summer's Gold Cup.