Mexico and Manchester United star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has been left off the starting XI lineup for the team’s 2014 World Cup opener against Cameroon. Head Coach Miguel Herrera named his starting XI Thursday before the tournament kicked off.
In addition to dropping Chicharito to the bench, Herrera has named Guillermo Ochoa as the starting goalkeeper instead of Jesus Corona. It was a decision that Herrera said was his toughest yet.
The line-up wasn’t a complete surprise as 10 of the players were starters in the warm-up match against Portugal where Mexico lost 0-1 in the 90th minute. Herrera is set in his 5-3-2 formation that he believes will perform well in Group A against host country Brazil, as well as against Croatia and Cameroon.
Hernandez had a lackluster season for Manchester United with only nine goals in 35 total appearances. The 26-year-old Mexican native has struggled to find his place in the English Premier League, often losing the starting position and getting minutes later on off the bench. Hernandez also lost out to Giovani Dos Santos for the Portugal game last week.
The goalkeeper position has been a competition since Mexican began qualifiers. Corona has started for Mexico the last two World Cups but Ochoa, who recently left the French club Ajaccio, has outperformed in practice and will take the goal for the first time. Ochoa has been with the Mexican National Team since 2006 but has lost the starting role twice to Corona and Oscar Perez.