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Lozano, Hernandez top strong group of Mexicans in Europe


Layun: Osorio didn't deserve fan criticism

 By Tom Marshall

Mexico two-goal hero Hirving Lozano has bright future - Juan Carlos Osorio

Hirving Lozano scored a pair of goals in Mexico's 3-3 draw with Belgium.

BRUSSELS -- Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio was full of praise for El Tri winger Hirving "Chucky" Lozano after his team's 3-3 tie against Belgium in King Baudouin Stadium.

PSV's Lozano scored twice for Mexico in a break-out performance for the national team in Europe.

"It's easy now to say he has a great future, two years ago when Carlos Vela and Jesus 'Tecatito' Corona were usually playing, he was only a topic of discussion," said Osorio after the match in a news conference. "Today he's reaching his level and it's credit to what he has done to improve."

The 22-year-old moved from Pachuca to PSV in the summer and has started with nine goals in his first nine matches in the Eredivisie. Osorio praised the Dutch club for signing Mexican players, with Andres Guardado, Hector Moreno, Carlos Salcido and Francisco "Maza" Rodriguez all having played at the club.

"PSV continue to believe in Mexican footballers," Osorio said. "Today Lozano has taken a major step in showing that what he has been doing [at PSV] is not a coincidence."

Mexico striker Raul Jimenez chimed in with praise for Lozano and hopes his form continues moving forward.

"He's in a great moment and we have to take advantage of it," said the 26-year-old. "We hope this streak lasts a long time because it'll help us all at the World Cup."

The Benfica forward was also happy with the positive result away against a team ranked fifth by FIFA.

"We played a good game and competed toe-to-toe with a team that finished [World Cup] qualifying unbeaten," said Jimenez. "The draw was just."

Roma defender Moreno agreed with his teammate's synopsis.

"It was positive because we took on a national team with great players that play in the best teams in the world," said Moreno. "It's a different type of test than we're used to and today we've had the courage to play and attack, although we leave ourselves open when it's time to defend."

Mexico will next play a friendly against Poland in Gdansk on Monday, with doubts over whether Javier Hernandez and Edson Alvarez will make the trip. Both left the field in the second half of the game against Belgium with injuries.

Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.


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