U.S. Falls to Mexico, 1-0, in Mexico City; Ends Qualifying Unbeaten Streak at Nine Games
MEXICO CITY (Sunday, July 1, 2001) - The U.S. Men's National Team fell to a rejuvenated Mexico, 1-0, in a World Cup qualifier today in front of more than 100,000 fans at the famed Estadio Azteca, ending the USA's nine-game unbeaten streak in qualifying. The U.S. loss, combined with Costa Rica's 3-2 win today in Honduras, put the two teams even on 13 points atop the CONCACAF final round World Cup qualifying standings with identical 4-1-1 records.
The only goal of the match came in the 16th minute, when veteran midfielder Alberto Garcia Aspe served a free kick into the penalty area, where unmarked forward Jared Borgetti rose and snapped a perfectly-placed header past U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller. The goal snapped Keller's five-game World Cup qualifying shutout streak (which ended at 466 total minutes).
Keller, who was named Chevrolet "Man of the Match," went on to make three extraordinary saves in the game to keep the new-look Mexican squad off the scoreboard in the second half. One of those saves came when he dove low to his right to parry a driven shot by Victor Gutierrez away from the goal in the 73rd minute on a dangerous opportunity for the Cruz Azul star.
"I don't think we played well in the first half," said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena. "I was very disappointed in our performance. I thought in the second half we picked it up. When you play as poor as we did in the first half and can't keep the ball, you are forced to defend. We expected Mexico to come out in the early going and play strong, and we would have been happy to withstand some of that pressure early, but giving up the early goal hurt us."
The U.S. played the match without the steadying influence of midfielder Claudio Reyna, who missed the game after picking up his second yellow card of the final round in the USA's 2-0 victory over Trinidad on June 20 in Foxboro, Mass.
The loss dropped the United States all-time record in Mexico to 0-21-1, which includes a 0-17-1 mark in Mexico City and a 0-7-1 mark at Estadio Azteca. In World Cup qualifying play, the U.S. is now 3-13-5 against Mexico and 0-10-1 in Mexico City.
Although outshot for the match 14-4, the U.S. created a couple of good scoring chances in the second half, highlighted by second-half substitute Cobi Jones freeing himself for the team's first shot on goal in the game's 60th minute. Just two minutes later, Brian McBride, another second-half sub, headed a cross toward goal that sailed wide.
"I just think we had a hard time communicating with each other out on the field," said Jones, who picked up his U.S. record 140th cap in the match. "Everyone was playing on different pages, and we weren't organized as players on the field. You can have all the organization you want beforehand, but once you get on the field you have to be organized together as a team."
With four games remaining for the U.S. on the road to the 2002 World Cup, the team does not take the field again until Match Day #7 in CONCACAF qualifying when they host Honduras on Sept. 1 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. in a special 10:00 a.m. ET kickoff live on ESPN2 & Telemundo (and the Futbol de Primera Radio Network). Four days later the U.S. will travel to Costa Rica to battle the Ticos on Sept. 5 at 10:00 p.m. ET (on ESPN2 & Telemundo).
2001 U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Men's National Team vs. Mexico|
|Competition:||CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying (Final round)|
|Venue:||Azteca Stadium (Mexico City, Mexico)|
|Date:||July 1, 2001 - Kickoff 1:00 p.m. ET|
|Weather:||74 degrees (Overcast, Hazy, Mild)|
MEX - Jared Borgetti (Juan Garcia Aspe), 16.
USA - 1-Kasey Keller; 6-David Regis, 12-Jeff Agoos, 16-Carlos Llamosa, 2-Steve Cherundolo; 14- Chris Armas, 9-Joe-Max Moore (14-Cobi Jones, 46), 8-Earnie Stewart, 22-Tony Sanneh; 11-Ante Razov (15-Chris Klein, 82), 19-Jovan Kirovski (20-Brian McBride, 61).
Subs not used: 3-Gregg Berhalter, 24-Nick Rimando, 4-Greg Vanney, 21-Richie Williams.
MEX - 12-Oscar Perez; 21-Jesus Arellano (20-Jose Hernandez, 87), 2-Claudio Suarez, 5-Manuel Vidrio, 4-Melvin Brown; 18-Johan Rodriguez (13-Victor Gutierrez, 66), 6-Gerardo Torrado, 8-Alberto Garcia Aspe (7-Octavio Valdez, 74), 14-Tomas Campos; 17-Francisco Palencia, 9-Jared Borgetti.
Subs not used: 1-Oswaldo Sanchez, 3-Sergio Almaguer, 19-Miguel Zepeda, 11-Daniel Osorno.
USA - Tony Sanneh (caution), 52.
USA - David Regis (caution), 68.
USA - Steve Cherundolo (caution), 76.
MEX - Gerrardo Torrado (caution), 81.
MEX - Octavio Valdez (caution), 92+.
Referee: Kim Young Joo (Korean Republic)
Assistant Referee #1: Kim Hwa Soo (Korean Republic)
Assistant Referee #2: Kim Dae Young (Korean Republic)
Fourth Official: Lee Jong Kuk (Korean Republic)
Chevrolet Man of the Match: Kasey Keller.