Each year, boxing promoters aim to book a big fight on Mexican Independence Day weekend with fans on both sides of the border looking for something to tune into during their fiestas patrias. Excitement is building for Saturday night’s big bout between Guadalajara native Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and his nemisis Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin. But Mexican sports fans already have something to celebrate this weekend thanks to Hirving Lozano and Erick Gutierrez.
The Mexican duo helped PSV thrash ADO Den Haag 7-0 on Saturday and now turn their attention to PSV’s debut match in the Champions League group stage, Tuesday’s showdown with La Liga holders Barcelona.
Lozano found the net twice in the victory, opening the scoring in 18th minute when he pounced on an error by the center back. His speed was on display, as was his finishing ability, as he dashed in to intercept a pass for the goalkeeper and put the ball in the back of the net.
We know all about what Lozano can do in Europe, but this was Gutierrez’s European football debut. He came on in the 70th minute and wasted no time in making an impact.
The 23-year-old midfielder set up Lozano’s second goal with an excellent ball from the center circle that found his club and country teammate. Then he added a goal of his own, pushing the ball onto his left foot and putting in a shot from outside the box in the 75th minute and capping off a sequence that saw him debut, get his first assist and score his first goal in five minutes.
He didn’t fall off, either, ending the day completing all 18 passes he attempted and, on the defensive side of things, made an interception. It’s all the more remarkable when you remember that Guti’s move to PSV came through only after summer signing Ryan Thomas was injured and the team progressed into the Champions League group stage to get a financial boost. Now the friends are reunited, with PSV announcing the signing by taping a video chat between the old friends.
Their time together at Pachuca was productive, starting when they debuted as teenagers, became starters and eventually helped the club to Liga MX and CONCACAF Champions League trophies. Clearly they enjoy hanging out off the pitch, but on it, the connection remains strong as well. The type of pass Guti sent may not get over a Barcelona center back or other players in the UEFA Champions League, however it’s obvious that he’s already feeling comfortable with manager Mark van Bommel’s aggressive style of play.
♥️♥️♥️@HirvingLozano70 🤜🏻🤛🏻 @GutiGalaviz #ADOPSV 0-7 pic.twitter.com/zD00QMICfk
— PSV International (@psveindhoven) September 15, 2018
The players were well-rested after leaving the Mexico national team early after taking part in the first of a pair of September friendly matches. Interim manager Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti said he wants what is best for his players. With Lozano’s part of this game, Guti needing to get adjusted and comfortable in Eindhoven after a whirlwind of flights, paperwork and a new culture, and a looming fixture against Barcelona, a quick return clearly was best.
Canelo could struggle like he did in his first fight against GGG, but Chucky and Guti are flying the flag high for their country. Next week, they’ll do the same on an even grander stage with Lozano sure to start against Barca and Guti giving Van Bommel something to think about.
For now, fans can pop open the tequila, toss some meat on the grill and enjoy two promising young players who are making Mexico proud this weekend.