BY KYLE ALM (PROSTAMERIKA.COM)
Mexico’s Columbus hoodoo continues. Last night the United States inflicted the fourth successive 2-0 win in World Cup qualification and more importantly, secured their passage to Brazil.
Eddie Johnson and Landon Donovan supplied the goals, sparking celebrations which only intensified within the hour. At that point news came through from Tegucicalpa that Panama had failed to beat Honduras, and thus could no longer match the Americans’ 16 point total.
For the defeated Mexicans, their second defeat in four days leaves their World Cup qualification in tatters. They stand on eight points from eight games. They are fifth in the table though only behind Panama on goals scored, a paltry four. The two sides meet on October 11th.
For all the consternation about yellow card accumulation for Jozy Altidore, especially the dive by Campbell against Matt Besler, and then piling on Michael Bradley’s sprained ankle, Mexico looked like they might finally have their best chance scenario to get an elusive first win in Columbus.
Mexico, to put it bluntly, just haven’t been Mexico lately. The recent embarassment at Azteca by Honduras cost their manager his job and Mexico seemed poised for an emotional resurgence against their biggest rival at their mini-fortress.
It all seemed to be going in Mexico’s favor when DeMarcus Beasley miskicked a ball that cause a brief loss of breath, only to have Tim Howard save Beasley’s bacon.
Eddie Johnson had the best chance to score the US in the 32nd minute only to see his header saved by Jose de Jesus Corona. Mexico’s Giovanni Dos Santos was presented an opportunity at the top left of the box that he daringly attempted to bend around Howard with the outside of his left foot.
(Hiram Mier attempts to beat Landon Donovan Photo: Denise McCooey)
The halftime score of nil-nil did seem to tell the story off two bitter rivals playing a match that figured heavily for both of their qualifying chances. Until the most dangerous adage in soccer arrived right on cue.
When Eddie Johnson scored five minutes after the half, Mexico deflated and it carried through to the second half. Johnson rose impressively for a second header after being denied in the 32nd minute on an equivalent attempt on goal.
Johnson would not be denied as the half drew to a close, he headed down the and bounced past the Mexican defense perfectly centered in the frame of the goal.
Johnson left the match 10 minutes later after he was upended in the air trying to win a ball. Johnson came down hard and appeared to have hit his head from his indications to Jurgen Klinsmann before he was subbed off for Diskerud.
Diskerud save two minutes on the old adage when he collected a ball and went on a run to the endline before playing a ball across the 6-yard box, that Dempsey got a touch to on the the way to a Landon Donovan goal that sealed the Dos-Cero rerun at Columbus.
Clint Dempsey had another chance at a goal in the waning moments of added time to add insult to injury that was missed.
(At least he arrived happy Photo: Denise McCooey)
Throughout the match, scores trickling from the Jamaica-Honduras qualifier gave even more bountiful news to the already euphoric home fans. One can only wonder where Mexico goes from here, another coach, or an unthinkable back-to-back loss at Azteca and failure to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil.
Notable for the USMNT, Kyle Beckerman filled in admirably for Michael Bradley, clearly the biggest role to play Beckerman appears up to task of playing CDM for Jurgen Klinsmann’s US National Team.
Lineups: USA: 1-Tim Howard; 23-Fabian Johnson (15-Michael Parkhurst, 46), 21-Clarence Goodson, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 13-Jermaine Jones, 5-Kyle Beckerman; 11-Alejandro Bedoya (19-Graham Zusi, 84), 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.), 10-Landon Donovan; 18-Eddie Johnson (14-Mix Diskerud, 76) Substitutions Not Used: 12-Brad Guzan, 22-Nick Rimando, 2-Edgar Castillo, 4-Michael Orozco, 6-Joe Corona, 9-Aron Johannsson, 16-Jose Torres, 17-Brad Davis Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
MEX: 1-Jesús Corona (capt.); 21-Hiram Mier, 4-Diego Reyes, 15-Héctor Moreno, 3-Carlos Salcido (8-Ángel Reyna, 77); 7-Christian Giménez (16-Héctor Herrera, 55), 5-Fernando Arce (19-Oribe Peralta, 69), 17-Jesús Zavala, 18-Andrés Guardado; 14-Javier Hernández, 10-Giovani Dos Santos Substitutions Not Used: 2-Francisco Rodríguez, 9-Raúl Jiménez, 11-Javier Aquino, 12-Jonathan Orozco, 13-Severo Meza, 20-Jorge Torres Nilo, 22-Damián Álvarez, 23-Alfredo Talavera Head coach: Luis Fernando Tena
Stats Summary: USA / MEX Shots: 9 / 8 Shots on Goal: 4 / 3 Saves: 3 / 2 Corner Kicks: 2 / 7 Fouls: 13 / 9 Offside: 0 / 3
Misconduct Summary: USA – Alejandro Bedoya (caution) 45+1 minute USA – Landon Donovan (caution) 85
Officials: Referee: Courtney Campbell (JAM) Assistant Referee 1: Ricardo Antonio Morgan (JAM) Assistant Referee 2: Garnet Page (JAM) Fourth Official: Valdin Legister (JAM)