Raul Jimenez and Hirving Lozano among Mexican standouts in Europe
After a quiet start to March, several El Tri players shined over the weekend with noteworthy performances in Europe. Whether it be through the return of Hirving Lozano or the late heroics of Raul Jimenez, there was plenty to be happy about for supporters of big names from the Mexico national team.
There are a number of highlights to go over, so without further ado, let's get started on the latest Heroes and Villains list for the Mexicans in Europe.
Desperate for a goal on Saturday, Benfica was lucky to have a hero like Raul Jimenez sitting on the bench. After stepping onto the pitch during the 58th minute, the striker helped clinch a vital 2-0 win over Feirense with a goal and assist for his club. For better or worse, Jimenez has solidified his status as a "super sub" for Benfica. Since January, the 26-year-old has scored four times as a substitute for the current Primeira Liga titleholders.
Eredivisie star Hirving Lozano also proved to be brilliant over the weekend. Following a recent suspension, the winger returned with a goal and assist in the 3-0 victory against VVV Venlo. With six matches left in the Eredivisie tournament, the 22-year-old still has a chance to build upon his impressive 14-goal tally in his first season abroad.
Looking over at Spain, Andres Guardado appears to be back to full health after helping Real Betis gain a 3-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday. Thanks to his influential distribution going forward, the midfielder collected an assist in the victory that pushed Betis up to eighth place in the league table. With the Mexican back in the XI, the Spanish side has a decent chance of fighting for a Europa League-worthy position.
Week after week, Hector Herrera continues to be an influential figure for Porto. During his club's recent 2-0 win against Boavista, the 27-year-old captain helped secure three points with a goal in the 62nd minute. There's still plenty of hurdles left in the regular season, but as of now, Porto remains at the top of the Primeira Liga table with 70 points in hand.
Despite the fact that Sevilla earned its second straight La Liga defeat, credit must be given to right-back Miguel Layun. On Sunday, the Mexican international scored the lone goal for his squad in the 2-1 away loss to Leganes. After a rocky start to his loan this year, Layun has looked like one of the best players from the Sevillistas in their last two league matches.
If we are bringing up Raul Jimenez's performance, we unfortunately also have to discuss Antonio Briseno. For months, the 24-year-old fought to return to Feirense's starting roster, and after emerging as one of Feirense's best against Benfica on Saturday, the former Tigres player ruined his evening with a direct red in the 86th minute. Once a promising name for the future of the Mexican national team, Briseno is now a defender who will once again need to prove his worth to a Portuguese club that is fighting relegation.
With no reports of injury or illness, it wasn't exactly good news to see Carlos Salcedo left out of Eintracht Frankfurt's gameday roster on Saturday. To make matters worse, his German side had no problems gaining a 3-0 victory against FSV Mainz without him. Following a regular place in the XI during most of the winter, the defender has earned only one start in Frankfurt's last four Bundesliga matches.
Cesar Hernandez covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @cesarhfutbol.