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MEXICO CITY -- The United States' first win over Mexico at the Estadio Azteca and the Latin American country struck a chord with El Tri's players, who were obliged to immediately confront the ramifications of the loss following the match.
"It hurts, no doubt about it." said Angel Reyna, one of Mexico's lone bright spots up front. "This is Mexico's biggest rival and it definitely hurts to have lost against them."
The win, in the players' eyes at least, was vintage USA, as the Americans held out as much as they could against the Mexican onslaught and executed a counterattack to perfection in order to concrete their only goal of the match, and thus the win.
"We went out there to try to win," said Pablo Barrera. "We generated opportunities on goal, and they scored on us thanks to a circumstantial play."
Barrera has been widely criticized by Mexican press and fans as not being up to his usual level following a disastrous campaign for Real Zaragoza that ultimately landed him back in the Liga MX after the summer break.
"We all know that this leaves a bitter taste because we didn't want to lose. Now we have to go back to our clubs and keep working," Barrera continued.
With several shots on goal, it was Mexico's own mistakes up front coupled with a spectacular performance from Tim Howard on the American side that kept El Tri at bay.
"This match we just could not score. We have to keep working on that," Reyna said to reporters at the end of the game.
The loss against Mexico's "hated" rival prompted several similar questions, prodding to see how much it truly stung the Mexican players. "It always bothers you to lose, but more so against this particular team," Reyna continued.
For Pablo Barrera, the feeling was similar.
"Yeah, it hurts. We didn't deserve to lose today," he said. "Football is like that sometimes."
Brent Latham provided reporting from Mexico City.
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