Giovani dos Santos - Mexico - closeup

Giovani dos Santos scored a timely goal to help Mexico defeat Scotland 1-0 on Saturday night in El Tri's traditional pre-World Cup send-off match at Estadio Azteca. 

Exchanging passes with Carlos Vela, his Mexico teammate and Los Angeles crosstown rival, the elder dos Santos brother stroked a low, left-footed daisycutter into the bottom right corner of the net in the 14th minute.

Dos Santos immediately raced to embrace coach Juan Carlos Osorio, who has kept faith in the LA Galaxy star despite recent injury and fitness issues.

Though Scotland provided limited opposition compared to the rugged foes awaiting El Tri in Russia, the goal can only bolster dos Santos' prospects for a role in Mexico's World Cup campaign. Earlier Sunday Osorio trimmed his roster down to 24 players and depending on how several injury concerns shake out, will likely have to cut one more name to compete his final list for the tournament.

On Sunday the squad will travel to Europe for the final phase of their preparations, with a friendly against Denmark next weekend providing the final game opportunity for dos Santos, Vela and the rest of El Tri to make their case for playing time in Russia.