Americans draw Mexico 0-0 in WCup qualifying
The United States held on for a 0-0 draw with Mexico on Tuesday,
earning only its second point in a World Cup qualifier at Azteca
The draw moves the U.S. into third place in World Cup qualifying
for the North and Central American and Caribbean region, one point
behind Panama and behind Costa Rica on goal difference, which also
has four points.
”We wanted to win, but we are pleased with the result,” U.S.
coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. ”They gave us everything they
Mexico coach Manuel de la Torre is sure to come under fire after
a third straight draw. El Tri had plenty of chances, but couldn’t
finish and were dismal on set pieces. Mexico had 15 corners,
including three in the last two minutes of stoppage time as, and
U.S. keeper Brad Guzan used his body to block the most dangerous
one, by Angel Reyna.
Azteca is one of the world’s most imposing venues, and the
Americans have a miserable track record there. They are 0-13-2 in
World Cup qualifiers in Mexico, with their only other point – also
from a 0-0 draw – coming in 1997.
Mexico dominated possession, and Javier Aquino, Javier Hernandez
and Jesus Zavala repeatedly tested the inexperienced American
defense, picking on DaMarcus Beasley in particular after he was
shown a yellow card in the eighth minute. But defender Omar
Gonzalez came up with one big play after another, and Matt Besler
looked quite comfortable in the Azteca pressure-cooker.
”The guys were outstanding,” Klinsmann said. ”Our back line,
you know, many said they were inexperienced. They deserve a huge
compliment. …If one guy is not here, that’s a huge opportunity to
the next one stepping in, and I think the guys that stepped in
here, they took their chance.”
Mexico blew numerous chances, including what should have been a
couple of easy goals for Hernandez.
The Manchester United striker misplayed a bouncing corner kick
in the 87th, getting only the back of his right foot on it. He
pitched forward and into the net, but the ball popped skyward and
over the goal. In the 28th minute, Jorge Torres Nilo sent a perfect
cross in to Chicharito, who was right in front of the goal, just a
few feet from Guzan. But Hernandez skied that one, too.
The United States never really challenged Mexican goalkeeper
Guilermo Ochoa. But their defense was strong enough.