It’s like a ritual – one the Mexican Soccer team could just as soon do without. Every four years El Tri heads north to take on their rivals in the US for a World Cup qualifier in Columbus, OH. And the USA wins 2-0. Once again last night, Team America took a few early punches before striking back with authority to score two goals. This is the fourth straight time for this scoreline in Crew Stadium in the Hex – going back to 2001. And it should have been 3-0, but Clint Dempsey missed a penalty in the dying moments:
“It’s this mystical thing. It’s like this ghost. Clint missed that penalty and I feel like there was something that’s haunting (for) that to happen on purpose because just to keep that Dos a Cero. What is that, four straight now? That’s crazy, it’s unbelievable, it’s such a weird thing, but we’ll take it any day, all day.” – US Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya
We have to be honest – this match wrecked the day. Hard time concentrating at work. Torturous attending the boy’s baseball game (which last a full half hour longer than any previous games) before sitting down to tune in. Didn’t help matters that we had fully planned to go to this one (we were at this match four years ago in the freaky Ohio monsoon but still had a great time) if not for losing out on the ticket lotto.
Too pumped up for analysis – I’ll have to re-watch the game for that – but it did seem to play out as anticipated. El Tri came out quick, pressuring high, and had the run of play the first 20-30 minutes. The US got caught out a couple of time with their outside backs too far upfield. Omar Gonzalez and Jermaine Jones made saving tackles, and Tim Howard had to come up with a couple of key saves. Then, towards the end of the first half, the US started to gain momentum and looked much better.
It wasn’t a great game to watch – both sides playing pretty conservative at the start of the second half. Eddie Johnson’s corner kick goal was great execution, though. After that, you could just see the Mexican’s body language deflate. They’ve shown zero resiliency all year, and sure enough, Landon gets the second goal off a heady play by Mix Diskerud.
Team America flexes the team depth with key guys gone. Jurgen’s lineup looks solid. ESPN gives US Soccer the full-on playoff treatment with postgame and Sportscenter…
We are going to Brazil! We are going to Brazil!
We are going… We are going… We are going to Brazil…