United States: 0-1: 1
Mexico: 1-1: 2
Mexico ended their losing streak at MAPFRE Stadium on Friday night, getting a late corner kick goal to defeat USMNT.
El Tri captain Rafael Marquez, at 37 years old, flicked a near post shot behind USA keeper Brad Guzan in the 88th minute for the winner. Guzan who replaced Tim Howard after 30 minutes, had no assistance at the back post but otherwise did well in relief. When Marquez made his debut for Mexico, USA forward Christian Pulisic, who continued to dazzle in just his fourth career start, wasn’t born yet.
It was a physical game, one that could have gone differently had the officials intervened more. That’s not to say the officiating wasn’t outstanding, as Walter Lopez did a terrific job managing the tempers of both teams. A total of seven yellow cards were shown in the match, and Carlos Salcedo was shown a second yellow card for time wasting in the final minutes.
Mexico get the three points to start qualifying, and travel to face Panama on Tuesday. USMNT will look to bounce back on Tuesday against Costa Rica.
Scroll for full match highlights:
Really chippy in the final minutes. The final whistle blows after Jermaine Jones gets blindsided chasing down the ball. Mexico runs out to celebrate while USA is still talking to the ref, and it’s not the usual finish in Columbus.
The ageless Rafa Marquez is the set piece hero, lofting a corner kick from the near post to the undefended back post. It was a beautful ball by Layun, a clinical finish from Marquez, and a punch to the gut for USMNT.
Another run by Pulisic, but this time Salcedo lays on the ground sideways to prevent the attack. Altidore’s free kick is deflected over the bar, and it’s breathtaking action in Columbus. Lozano’s endline cross at the other end is just barely cleared by Johnson.
Huge series of events. USA almost nails a corner at a desrted near post, but it’s saved by Talavera. Then Bradley gets an interception and starts a break, but instead of returning a pass to wide-open Bobby Woods, Bradley softly boots a low shot at Talavera. At the other end, Hector Herrera wanted a penalty for Mexico but instead was shown a yellow card for simulation.
Goal! Bobby Wood!
USA have been pretty good up front tonight, but on this scoring play from Bobby Wood they were sensational. Altidore held possession, then fed Wood who made a great individual effort. The Americans have looked scary bad at times tonight, but this is one example of how much talent this team has.
Tim Howard is down for USMNT, and Brad Guzan is warming up. Howard didn’t looked to be in agonizing pain, but clearly is dealing with a muscle injury. He’s already had one heroic save in this game, and is USA’s most active passer through 30 minutes.
Howard appeared to stay in the action, but he was only holding out while Guzan prepared. Howard’s night is done.
It could be 3-0 Mexico right now, and USA are having problems defending.
“Dos a Cero” es no más!
Michael Bradley gets mugged in his own third, and Miguel Layun’s deflected shot results in just his fourth career international goal.
Chance for Mexico! El Tri are getting all kinds of space and possession early, and Corona’s blast was just barely tipped by Howard and off the post. The Americans looked to counter at the other end, but Altidore was held to prevent the counter and drew a yellow card on Reyes. Pulisic has had threatening runs in the middle, but not much else offensively from USMNT.
MAPFRE Stadium echoes with “Dos a cero” chants and we’re off and away in Columbus.
Pulisic starts for USA! Check the full starting lineups here.
The matchup is important, but the timing is bad.
Jurgen Klinsmann and USA begin the next phase of World Cup qualification Friday night, hosting Mexico at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus. But while the “Dos a Cero” storyline will be in play, many will instead choose to focus on the tense international relations and political climate.
On the field, this will be a showcase for some of the best young players in North America. Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio is sticking with his young talent, and just two of the men on his early 25-man roster have more than 10 international caps. USMNT is working on making budding star Christian Pulisic the center of the offense, but they aren’t going too young, as Tim Howard will start in goal.
With only six teams in the CONCACAF final group stage, USA and Mexico are figured to emerge as the top two nations regardless of tonight’s outcome. That being said, a loss Friday night could send a team trending downward before what should be winnable matches in the near future.