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Pulido scores debut hat-trick as Mexico routs South Korea at Alamodome

Mexico South Korea (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

A dream debut for Alan Pulido gave Mexico a dream start to their World Cup year.

Pulido inspired El Tri to a 4-0 victory over South Korea with a hat-trick performance in their first match of 2014 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on Wednesday night. Oribe Peralta scored the winner in the first half, but it was Pulido who stole the show and grabbed the headlines with his impressive showing in his first international appearance.

Pulido scored the first of his three goals in first-half stoppage time then added two more in the second stanza. Rafa Marquez captained El Tri in the first half of their cleansheet victory, coming off at halftime with another pair of starters as head coach Miguel Herrera attempted to give opportunities to other players.

South Korea next face the U.S. Men’s National Team in a friendly on Saturday at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

Here are the Mexico-South Korea match highlights:

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What do you think of Mexico’s 4-0 victory over South Korea? Impressed? Think the Americans will win by as much on Saturday?

Share your thoughts below.

56 comments
  • Falcioni

    A hat trick in your debut with the national team?
    Who’s this Chicharito you speak of?

    Like

  • James

    Mexico may just round into form at the right time. Perhaps they’re back to being a darkhorse as some were predicting before qualifying.

    Like

    • Maykol

      If they get back to their 2011-2012 form, they should have no problem getting out of their group

      Like

    • tainted meat

      yep, now that crunch time is coming, it is about time for their “program” to start again.

      Like

      • Greg

        BS, Mexico’s full side is not that much better than what was seen. However, that was a true Korea B…B- side. This is more like a Mexico A-, maybe B+ side. The U.S. will be trotting out a true B side. By the way your Portuguese side sucks. USA is going to to them what they did in 2002. For the record, quit pretending you are a US fan because you are not.

        Like

      • Godi

        Yes because a Mexico team without any Europe based players (Hernandez, Gio, Aquino, Guardado, Vela, Moreno) and with some of the ones from Liga Mx (Layun, Aguilar) missing that was more than a B squad.

        Like

      • Greg

        Oh, you mean the same European players that contributed to two wins during qualifying. I’m sorry but they just suck. These domestic players are just as good. Gio is a pathetic little transvestite , Chicharito is a disgrace, Guardado, PSSSS enough said. Vela is not going to do anything except spread his cancer…. He’ll probably want to be player manger

        Like

      • Maykol

        A-? Ladies and gentlemen, greg is someone who clearly knows nothing of the mexican soccer team. And oh yeah? Usa is gonna take out portugal? Odds are slim. Please tell me which US player would start for portugal besides MAYBE Howard? Did you not watch portugal tear holes through sweden? A team better than the US. If you actually believe portugal sucks and are so confident of their chances of losing to the US, you are a very uninformed delusional person

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      • Greg

        Ladies and gentleman, Maykol is a moron and probably a fruitcake and knows nothing about USA soccer. He probably got cut from his high school girl’s soccer team. He is only here to bash US soccer so people can think he’s smart. We all know he is a real prick.

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      • Maykol

        Whoa guys watch out, greg is mad. Maykol is a moron even though he asked Greg valid questions and he/she was unable to answer any of them Haha you didnt even answer a single question pal. And how is being skeptical of our chances of beating a team much better than us bashing? I think most informed soccer fans will agree that the US is the weakest team in the group. So because I say that portugal is a strong team (which it is) and that beating them will be very difficult and complimenting portugal on their strengths, that is bashing? And yeah, they did kick me out of the girls team cause i had too many balls to play with them, that was the worst experience of my life haha

        Like

      • Falcioni

        The way they looked during qualifiers, Mexico beating anybody is an improvement.

        Like

    • Drewbles

      The first time we could possibly play them would be in the semifinals, so at that point I think everyone would be ecstatic to play Mexico in that round of the World Cup.

      Like

      • cotton

        damn, that is a goddamn good point. I didn’t bother to look up the chances of that scenario happening but In my gut I always feared the chances we would regret the favor we did for them.

        but now that i know this little tidbit, you are right, if by some miracle the US got that far, and we were playing mexico, I would feel really really good about our chances, better than if we were playing against any other semi-final calibre team.

        excellent point

        Like

    • SilverRey

      “Uh oh. Are we going to regret dragging MX to Brazil?”

      Nah, they’re easy to beat in the World Cup. Just see 2002!

      Like

      • Rob Jones

        Don’t post jabs related to the World Cup since the USMNT is looking at a swift exit in Brazil.

        Like

  • White Kix

    All of Klinsmann’s talk about how great South Korea was against Costa Rica goes out the window now, and the US need to beat them soundly.
    Of course, it is a friendly, so the results don’t really matter too much. Also, I respect the South Korean team and think they are probably a good match up for our team. I just don’t know how this South Korea team compares to their full squad (Is it like the US squad with about half the team expected to make the WC roster).

    Like

    • James

      It would be disappointing not to beat them, but as you point out, both teams will be w/o most of their starters, so I think the result ultimately doesn’t mean a ton.

      Like

      • Benny

        You are absolutely correct. It doesn’t mean a ton. Not this February friendly anyway. Both sides are not even going to be close to full strength. Klinsi is going to use this friendly to see if any dark horses inpress. And of course, a win is icing on the cake.The U.S. should win this game, however. We will be able to measure the U.S. side better in the March friendly and those in May and in June. Go USA!!!

        Like

    • AcidBurn

      SK also played tonight while the USMNT was inside making Instagram videos. Don’t be surprised if the US piles it on late too. I can see Wondo with two goals in the 75+ minute.

      Like

  • automata

    Heck of a debut by Pulito, but Chicharito’s competition is Peralta, and he has yet to give Herrera a reason not to start him.

    Like

  • Increase

    Incidentally, It was at the Alamodome. A nice big pretty much empty stadium waiting for a professional soccer team to move in. At least I bet that’s what the MLS is thinking.

    Like

    • beto

      just happened to be during Garber’s visit with the Mayor & Scorpion’s owner.. i wonder if they were there..

      Like

    • James

      I’m curious how Mexican fans feel about their NT playing games in the US? I know it makes sense from most financial perspectives, but I would be pretty upset if the US played South Korea in Mexico or Canada, even with if it meant a bigger payday.

      Like

      • GW

        If you are an American, depending on where you live, it might be a lot easier to see the US in Mexico, again depending on where in Mexico they would play, than if they played in New York or Seattle .

        The USMNT playing South Korea in Mexico could prepare them for playing a World Cup team at a so called neutral venue, like they will in Brazil .

        Do you attend every game the USMNT plays in the US? If you do not then I don’t see why you would be upset. The way USMNT fans are often out numbered by Mexican and central american fans in games in the US then I I don’t think US fans have much right to complain.

        Also there is no home base national stadium for the US like England has Wembey or Brazil has the Maracana.

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      • Joe+G

        They’ve been doing it for maybe 12 years and the fans keep coming. Not sure how it plays in Mexico City, but the money has to help.

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    • chuck

      Alamodome required a special pitch for this game alone. The San Antonio Scorpions already have their own expandable SSS

      Like

  • beto

    Korea looked good at times; the game was a lot closer until the last few minutes when they gave Mexico 100% of the possession and let them have 2 goals right at the end.

    in a more tightly contested & officiated game it would have been different.

    Hopefully the US can match this performance

    Like

    • CJinOC

      I didn’t see the game, but my wife (a fan of El Tri) said that they didn’t look at all cohesive—and that was when they were up 2-0. I got home in time for the last two goals, and wasn’t impressed. I would put both of those on bad defense rather than having been created by any attacking flare.

      oh well… hopefully saturday’s game will be a good one.

      Like

      • bryan

        Korea’s defense was awful. Mexico didn’t even look good in the first half. their marking on set pieces was terrible but Korea couldn’t punish them for it. Rafa was getting owned with speed. Korea’s RB was solid though. he was impressive.

        Like

  • bryan

    Korea looked solid at first but couldn’t capitalize in those first 30 minutes. then Mexico just completely dominated. that second half was brutal.

    Like

  • dantheblue

    Welp, no need to play the world cup. Mexico has beat NZ twice and now Korea… they are obviously a class above anyone else… just ask any Mexican…

    Like

      • dantheblue

        my Mexican wife, her family, and every Mexican student I’ve ever taught in 20 years are more myopic than Raider fans. Arrogant and obnoxious and they refuse to give credit where credit is due instead offering excuse after excuse after ANY loss by the tree.

        Plus I’m just trying to stir things up…

        Like

      • Hugo Sanchez

        I’ve heard them all. The field, the fans, the referee, anti-American bias….. Them sucker will never admit when they get beat. So sad

        Like

      • chuck

        Typical mexican reaction. Surely cause one dislikes Mexico NT fans/attitude, the guy must be uber-racist

        Like

      • Rob Jones

        Of course not all of them but there are plenty of racist/xenophobic US supporters.

        Like

      • Rob Jones

        The USMNT has their fair share of arrogant and obnoxious fans. A lot of them even post here.

        Like

  • Dale

    Brizuela & Pulido look promising, a couple of good prospects to keep an eye on. My opinion is not based on this one game but on their respective performances for their clubs, they’ve been impressive. I still don’t believe they are ready for a World Cup though, maybe by 2018 but not just yet.

    Like

  • John

    I think this result does put some more presure on the fringe guys like Magee, Davis, and Feilhaber. There won’t be much room for excuses if they don’t come through.

    Like

    • GW

      Wurzel.

      Wrong. They stunk in qualifiying. But they got through anyhow. So that does not matter anymore.

      The World Cup is a clean slate now. It’s like the playoffs. You just have to get in.

      They may be putrescent or, with their easier group , they may go further than the US.

      We don’t know how good they will be in Brazil.

      Like

      • John

        Lets not forget Mexico beat the Ivory Coast in an August friendly with a simuliar score line of 4-1. Many thought then, it was the turning point but the struggles continued once they faced real matches in the Hex. Personally I think if Mexico does well in the World Cup it just reflects well on the region, which in the big picture is good. So we will see but I wouldn’t read too much into this one.

        Like

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