Osorio may have been serving out the first game in his six-match suspension, but his trademark nuances in the team selection were very much on the team sheet.
Shifted out to the right after the break, Hernandez broke through 10 minutes into the second half and put in a unsafe cross for Orbelin Pineda to tap in. La Selecta will certainly believe that it can challenge Jamaica, which beat Curacao 2-0 earlier Sunday, for the second spot in Group C and a place in the quarterfinals.
Mexican fans at Qualcomm Stadium hardly had time to settle back into their seats before El Savador countered.
The suspension must be served during "official" games, and the Gold Cup, as the confederation's biennial championship, counts starting with Sunday night's opener against El Salvador at the venue formerly known as Qualcomm Stadium.
Following the opening salvo and the lightning-quick rebuttal, Mexico settled into the game, dominating possession with crisp passing and controlled buildup.
Hernandez gave Mexico the lead at the 29th minute on a booming volley inside the box. It was an exquisite finish from a player who has now scored three goals in his past three games for Mexico. Pineda was fortunate to see his effort go in off the post after striking his knee, but El Salvador were buried. Corona collected the ball and tried to distribute it quickly by hand but miscommunication nearly gifted the El Salvadorians the lead, though Gerson Mayen's chipped effort was just too high. He took a sizzling Hernandez shot to the face earlier in the contest, only to limp off the field a few minutes later and be replaced by Derby Carrillo. Mexico is the defending tournament champion.
Mexico had not even finished celebrating when El Salvador caught the team napping after the whistle.