HOUSTON — “Just a Kid from Mexico”, the tagline reads, in an sports drink commercial featuring Jesus Manuel “Tecatito” Corona. On Monday, that kid scored a goal for the ages at NRG Stadium to level Mexico 1-1 against Venezuela and win Group C of the Copa America Centenario.
Corona, from Hermosillo, Mexico, has dazzled audiences with his electric dribbling and skills on the ball. The 23-year-old's talent has propelled him from Liga MX’s Monterrey Rayados, to Netherlands FC Twente and now, FC Porto.
The Messi-esque goal from Corona came in the 80th minute after the ball came to him outside the box. The FC Porto player dribbled past six defenders to get in the box and blast the shot past the keeper.
The run was executed flawlessly, with every touch giving Corona the space he needed for the next, almost as if it were planned. But Corona says it was all improvised.
“I’ve done it as a kid, but to pull it off in this kind of game, I’m just happy,” Corona said. “But honestly, it’s about trying. I had tried earlier in the game and it didn’t come out. But in the end, I’m just happy because we completed our objective.”
Corona’s play has his teammates in awe of what he does on the field. Miguel Layun, teammates with Corona at FC Porto, has been often impressed.
“For me, it’s good for a player of his quality to keep demonstrating what he has,” said Layun. “It’s always fun to enjoy these moments with him on and off the pitch.”
Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio knows the kind of player Corona can be and said his intent when subbing Corona in was to provide him 1-on-1 challenges with the Venezuelan defenders.
As Mexico looks towards the quarterfinal, it does so with a potential star in the making in Corona – just a kid from Mexico.