GALLERY: U.S. MNT's Historic 0-0 WCQ Draw at Estadio Azteca in 1997

No opposing team has fared too well at Estadio Azteca. The altitude, smog and often times heat have all played factors in creating an overwhelming home-field advantage for Mexico, with El Trí going 39-2-7 in 48 World Cup Qualifiers.

While the U.S. is 1-8-2 all-time at Azteca, the MNT began to break down some of the mystique of the venue during its trip to Mexico City in 1997. Facing El Trí on Matchday 8 of the Final Round qualifying for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the U.S. squad played most the match with just 10 men when defender Jeff Agoos was sent off in the 32nd minute for an altercation with Mexico midfielder Pavel Pardo.

Despite playing down a man for the final 58 minutes, the U.S. frustrated El Trí and gained support from the home crowd who were showing their displeasure with their own side’s play.

The USA managed to slow the Mexican attack and earn a historic 0-0 draw – just the second tie by an opposing team in a World Cup Qualifier at Azteca and first since Haiti played to a 1-1 draw on Nov. 11, 1981. With a point in hand, the U.S. secured qualification for the 1998 FIFA World Cup with a 3-0 win against Canada in Vancouver one week later.

Take a trip 20 years back with the original game story, as well as photos of the game and match report below:


-U.SMens National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Mexico National Team
Date: Nov. 2, 1997
Competition: World Cup Qualifying
Venue: Guillermo Cañedo Stadium, Mexico City (7,300 feet above sea level)
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ET
Attendance: 114,400 (sold out)
Weather: 68 degrees, partly cloudy

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                             0          0          0
MEX                            0          0          0

Lineups:
USA: Brad Friedel; Eddie Pope, Marcelo Balboa, Alexi Lalas, Jeff Agoos; Eric Wynalda (Mike Burns, 72), Thomas Dooley, John Harkes, Cobi Jones (Chris Henderson, 56); Joe-Max Moore, Roy Wegerle (Martin Vasquez, 79)
Head coach: Steve Sampson

MEX: Jorge Campos; Claudio Suarez, Duilo Davino, Ramon Ramirez, Alberto Garcia Aspe (Luis Garcia, 46); Luis Roberto Alves (Cuauhtemoc Blanco, 66), Pavel Pardo, Alberto Coyote, Benjamin Galindo (Marcelino Bernal, 73); Carlos Hermosillo, Luis Hernandez
Head coach: Bora Milutinovic

Stats SummaryUSA / MEX
Shots: 9 / 12
Shots on Goal: 2 / 3
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 2 / 9
Fouls: 8 /12
Offside: 4 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
USA – John Harkes (caution)                        17th minute
MEX – Alberto Garcia Aspe (caution)           30
USA – Jeff Agoos (sent off)                           32
MEX – Pavel Pardo (caution)                         32
MEX – Luis Garcia (caution)                         53
USA – Henderson (caution)                           61

Officials:
Referee: Javier Castrilli (Argentina)
Assistant Referee: Claudio Rossi (Argentina)
Assistant Referee: Alberto Barrientos (Argentina)
Fourth Official: Oscar Sequeira (Argentina)