Mexico 0-1 USA: The Americans win in Mexico for the first time in 25 attempts
An unlikely hero stepped up late to help Jurgen Klinsmann's squad win south of the border for the first time in the rivalry's 75-year history.
By Mike Slane
MEXICO CITY -- And the streak is over.
The U.S. national team won for the first time in 25 trips to Mexico after Michael Orozco Fiscal scored in the 81st minute to shock El Tri with a 1-0 victory at Azteca Stadium on Wednesday.
Although it was only a friendly, it was a historical night for the Americans, who entered the match with an 0-23-1 record in 75 years of competition south of the border.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann did not call in the team's biggest offensive threats - including Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley - but his defense kept his squad in the game just long enough for an unlikely hero to come in and ruin Mexico's Olympic gold-medal celebrations.
Fiscal, who plays for San Luis in Mexico, entered as a substitute in the second half after the U.S. was quiet on the offensive end throughout the game and knocked one past goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. Brek Shea set up the play with Terrence Boyd assisting on Fiscal's game-winning goal.
The first half went back and forth with neither team getting any real scoring opportunities, which could have initially been viewed at as a major accomplishment for the makeshift U.S. squad.
Playing with an experimental defense that featured Maurice Edu and Geoff Cameron in central defense and Fabian Johnson at right back, goalkeeper Tim Howard did not have to make a single save in the first half. He punched away a couple crosses, but that was about it.
The U.S. may have been even less threatening on offense to open the game, however, and the teams entered the intermission scoreless. During halftime, Mexico's gold-medal winning team was honored on the field while fireworks went off around them.
The U.S. defense continued to keep Mexico from getting a good shot on goal as the second half went on. In the 55th minute, Cameron saved a potential goal when he got his head on a cross that was intended for Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez about four yards away from the goal line.
Cameron was a key player for U.S. the entire night and showed why Stoke City decided to bring the former Houston Dynamo defender to the English Premier League this summer.
Mexico began to really put on the pressure in 75th minute when Chicharito found himself free from the U.S. backline on a cross from Elias Hernandez, but his header went just wide of the net. It was a play that the Manchester United striker would have finished during his breakout year in 2010-11.
Shea surged past Severo Meza into the box and Boyd came up with the loose ball with a backheel pass to Fiscal, who was in the right place at the right time for the goal.
Mexico didn't go out without a fight, but Howard was there to literally save the day.
In the 84th minute, Chicharito's shot from within the box was deflected, forcing Howard into saving a rolling ball right on the goal line. Moments later, Howard made perhaps an even better stop when Chicharito went up for another header, stopping the ball just inches from the line with his feet.
Francisco Guillermo Ochoa
Jorge Emmanuel Torres
Jose Andrés Guardado
Pablo Edson Barrera
A. De Nigris
- Own Goal
- Penalty Missed
- Yellow Card
- Penalty Save
- Penalty Shootout Goal
- Penalty Shootout Miss
- Yellow Card / Red Card
- Red Card
- Substitution IN
- Substitution OUT
- Goal.com Rating
- Goal.com Man of the Match
- Goal.com Flop of the Match
- Top & Flop Global Ranking
- Fans' Man of the Match
- Fans' Flop of the Match
Times In EST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed