USA vs. Mexico: Final Score 1-1 As Yanks Earn A Historic Point At The Azteca



Once its Achilles heel, the United States Men’s National Team’s defense secured a historic point at the Azteca. After what Taylor Twellman called “An absolute dream start for the U.S.,” El Tri struck back and continued to put the pressure on the Americans. Bruce Arena’s defense bent a few times, but would not break.

Making seven changes from the 2-0 win over Trinadad and Tobago, social media went crazy over what changes Arena was making. The Yanks executed this system to perfection though.

While the U.S. went with a more defensive look, Mexico came out with three points on its mind:

If history has told us anything, it is that U.S.-Mexico matches are chippy, physical battles, and tonight was no different. Within the first three minutes, the game could have seen a red card and yellow for two elbows thrown by the Mexicans, but instead they were both non-calls. The game would not get any better and Mexico seemed to get the benefit of most the official’s calls.

As fans were still trying to find their seats, the U.S. scored a goal for the ages. After a takeaway near midfield, Michael Bradley had eyes only for goal. The captain looked up and saw Mexican ‘keeper Guillermo Ochoa out of position and tried a flick from 40 yards out. The result was absolutely perfect for the Americans — the quickest U.S. goal ever at the Azteca — and Bradley became just the sixth American to score at the historic venue.  

In the 14th minute, Mexico nearly leveled it. After a quick free kick, Jonathan dos Santos got the ball out wide and took a shot. The ball beat Brad Guzan, but was inches wide of the post as well. 

It was a scary moment for both teams in the 20th minute. DeAndre Yedlin’s slow reaction kept Chicharito onside, which led to him being in on goal with only Guzan to beat. As Guzan came out, Chicharito tried flicking over the ‘keeper but Omar Gonzalez was there to clear it. Guzan collided with Chicharito, who remained down clutching his leg. Both players got up and were perfectly fine the rest of the match. 

After defending the corner, the U.S. went straight on the counter. Bobby Wood had the opportunity to put the Yanks up 2-0 but whiffed and Mexico went on the counter. With numbers in transition, Mexico quickly got down the field. Carlos Vela got free of U.S. left back DaMarcus Beasley and his left-footed shot was out of the reach of Guzan, who was slow to react, and tied the game in the 23rd minute.

After the goal, three players went down with injuries within five minutes. Oswaldo Alanís was substituted out. Marco Fabian then tackled Wood from behind but injured himself on the play. Fabian was carted off the field and was out for a brief period but came back in a few minutes later. Then, a minute later, Beasley was caught while trying to cross and earning a corner, and went down awkwardly on his leg. The cart came on again and he looked to be heading immediately out of the game, but surprisingly came back in after just a brief time on the sidelines. Fabian hobbled around for the remainder of the first half, tried to come out for the second 45, but was forced out in the 54th minute. Beasley was able to remain on for the entire 90.

Guzan and Geoff Cameron almost gifted Chicharito a goal. The Mexican forward ran unmarked into the box looking to get on the end of a cross. Guzan and Cameron both could have cleared it but miscommunication led to Guzan dropping the ball just as Chicharito ran by. Guzan was able to pick up the ball and keep the game at 1-1. 

The half ended at 1-1, and a look at the stat sheet does not do the half justice. Mexico held 72% possession, committed six fouls, and had five corner kicks. However, the U.S. looked the more dangerous team, absorbing the pressing and then going immediately on the counter. The U.S. were called for 13 fouls, including the half’s only card. 

The second half started out slowly with Mexico controlling possession but the U.S. was able to keep the play in front of it. Mexico could only go horizontally, and every time El Tri tried to kick a ball forward the U.S. defense stopped them in their tracks. However, when the Americans got the ball back, they were unable to keep possession and the Mexicans went back into possession, finishing with 74%.

In the 71st minute, Hector Herrera nearly put Mexico up. His free kick from about 35 yards out got past Guzan, but hit the woodwork. However, it evened out as two minutes later Bradley took a crack from 30 yards out that also beat Ochoa and hit the post. 

El Tri should have gone up in the 79th minute. Javier Aquino was unmarked on the back post when a cross came in to him, sneaking in behind second-half sub Darlington Nagbe. Trying to hit it off the volley, Aquino put it miles over Guzan.

In the 90th minute, “The Kid” had his moment of the game. Christian Pulisic got the ball and turned toward the top of the box. With the entire American bench off its feet, Pulisic went for goal. It was a poor effort, however, and he didn’t get his hips around, leading to a shot that never threatened Ochoa. 

Mexico had one final chance in the waning seconds of stoppage time, as El Tri flooded the box and put crosses in, but the Yanks held on tight. In the 93rd minute, Mexico got down the right hand side and put in a low cross that was well defended by the U.S. out for a corner. Mexico went for a short corner and the referee blew the whistle, ending the game.

The U.S. was happy to come out of Mexico City with a point and continue its good run since Arena took over. Here’s what the captain had to say after the game:

The U.S. is back in action again on Saturday, July 1, as the Yanks take on Ghana in East Hartford, CT, in an international friendly.


Exit mobile version