Cologne - Bayer 04 Leverkusen star Javier Hernandez scored Mexico's crucial first goal as they overcame the USA 3-2 in extra-time to win the CONCACAF Cup and qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup.
Hernandez struck after just ten minutes in the Pasadena Rose Bowl to score his first goal against the US, and claim his 42nd in the colours of El Tri.
Geoff Cameron equalised shortly afterwards, and Hernandez then missed an opportunity to win it for Mexico before Oribe Peralta put them ahead once more on 96 minutes. 1. FC Union Berlin striker Bobby Wood levelled for the hosts, who featured Borussia Mönchengladbach's Fabian Johnson in their starting line-up, but a stunning volley from Paul Aguilar two minutes from time booked Mexico's ticket to Russia 2017.
"We're very happy with the way this game finished. It was a great goal by Paul Aguilar. We're very happy, we're very pleased, and I hope all the fans enjoy this victory. Then, we're going to Russia," said Hernandez, who saw Aguilar's sublime effort from the bench after being substituted in extra-time.
"We were just celebrating, because it was an extraordinary goal. Now we're celebrating, and we're very happy."
Record in sight
Hernandez now needs just four more goals for his country to equal the all-time record currently held by Jared Borgetti.
"It doesn't matter to me whether I score or not," said 'Chicharito' when asked about the mark. "All that concerns me is to be important for the team, to give everything, and to repay the confidence shown in me with results."
After the game, Peralta tweeted a picture, which was retweeted by Hernandez, taken in the dressing room alongside the CONCACAF Cup. "We knew that it would be a lot of work, but we know this team is made for this and more," Peralta wrote in Spanish.