USA Earns Hard-Fought Point in 1-1 World Cup Qualifying Draw with Mexico at Estadio Azteca

Michael Bradley Scores U.S. MNT’s Fastest Goal at Estadio Azteca in the Sixth Minute; U.S. Runs Azteca Unbeaten Streak to Three Matches, Earns Fourth Positive Result in Mexico City; USA Moves Level with Second-Place Costa Rica on Eight Points in 2018 World Cup Qualifying Final Round

MEXICO CITY (June 11, 2017) – The U.S. Men’s National Team utilized a brilliant sixth-minute chip from Michael Bradley and a strong defensive performance to earn a spirited 1-1 draw against Mexico at the monstrous Estadio Azteca on Matchday 6 of CONCACAF’s Final Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. The tie is the USA’s third all-time at the stadium in World Cup Qualifying and pushes the MNT’s record to 1-8-3 all-time at the iconic venue.  

Heavily pressing Mexico in midfield, the U.S. got out to the best possible start when Michael Bradley cut out a back pass at midfield from Javier Hernandez and quickly drove towards goal. Looking up to find Guillermo Ochoa well off his line, the MNT captain alertly chipped the Mexico goalkeeper from 40 yards, stunning the boisterous crowd into silence as he celebrated in front of the USA’s traveling supporters.

Not content to sit back, the U.S. came close again in the 23rd minute when Bobby Wood’s shot at the six-yard box was partially deflected. Immediately thereafter, Ochoa hurriedly distributed out to Hernandez at midfield before he fed Carlos Vela on the right. The Mexico forward cut inside and hit a blistering low effort from outside the area that caught Brad Guzan leaning the wrong way before it snuck inside the right post.

While the U.S. continued to pick its moments to go forward in the second half, Mexico kept the visitors honest when Hector Herrera rocketed his free kick from 30 yards off the underside of the crossbar in the 71st minute.

Just moments later, Bradley received a bouncing pass from Kellyn Acosta and hit a half volley from 30 yards that beat Ochoa, but rang off the outside of the right post in the 74th minute. 

Relying heavily on an assured performance from the back line in midfield, the U.S. continued to pick out passes and frustrate the home side in the dying moments before center referee Joel Aguilar Chicas blew the final whistle on the well-contested match.

With the result, the USA improves to 2-2-2 and moves level with second-place Costa Rica on eight points in the Final Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. Hexagonal Matchday 6 concludes on Tuesday, June 13 when Panama hosts Honduras and Costa Rica welcomes Trinidad & Tobago.

2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying - CONCACAF Final Round Standings

TEAM

GP

W

L

D

Pts.

GF

GA

GD

Mexico

6

4

0

2

14

9

2

+7

Costa Rica

5

2

1

2

8

7

3

+4

USA

6

2

2

2

8

11

8

+3

Panama

5

1

1

3

6

2

2

0

Honduras

5

1

3

1

4

4

12

-8

Trinidad & Tobago

5

1

4

0

3

2

8

-6

Next on the Schedule: The MNT reconvenes later this month for a friendly against Ghana on Saturday, July 1 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford, Connecticut before beginng 2017 Gold Cup play against Panama on Saturday, July 8 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. (4:30 p.m. ET; FOX and Univision Networks). Social: Twitter (@ussoccer; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram; Snapchat (ussoccer_mnt)

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Michael Bradley, 6th minute:
Utilizing a heavy press in midfield, the U.S. shook off the early jeers of the partisan crowd and took advantage when Michael Bradley anticipated Javier Hernandez’s back pass at midfield. The U.S. captain quickly pushed forward and catching Guillermo Ochoa cheating off his line, alertly chipped the Mexico goalkeeper from 40 yards out for his fifth career international goal vs. El Trí.
USA 1, MEX 0 [WATCH]

MEX – Carlos Vela (Javier Hernandez), 23rd minute: The U.S. nearly went up 2-0 when Bobby Wood’s effort inside the box was partially deflected before Ochoa quickly collected. The Mexico goalkeeper alertly distributed to Javier Hernandez at midfield, where he glided towards goal before laying off for Carlos Vela on the right flank. The Mexico forward cut inside on the dribble and fired a low effort from outside the box that squeezed inside the right post.
USA 1, MEX 1 [WATCH] FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
MEX – Hector Moreno, 62nd minute: The U.S. came close just after the hour mark as Kellyn Acosta snuck into the box on the right and centered a dangerous, low cross for Bobby Wood that was cleared out for a corner thanks to a desperate slide from Moreno.

USA – Geoff Cameron, 75th minute: After a nice spell of possession in the attacking third, Carlos Vela slipped Hirving Lozano into the box on the right where he drove to the end line before centering a pass that was cut out for a corner kick by Cameron at the near post.

NOTES:

- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: June 11, 2017
Competition: 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – Final Round
Venue: Estadio Azteca; Mexico City
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CT
Attendance: 71,537
Weather: 76 degrees; cloudy

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

USA – Michael Bradley                                   6th minute
MEX – Carlos Vela (Javier Hernandez)         23 

Lineups:
USA: 12-Brad Guzan; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 20-Geoff Cameron, 14-Tim Ream, 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 11-Paul Arriola (15-Darlington Nagbe, 63), 16-Kellyn Acosta, 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 10-Christian Pulisic (19-Graham Zusi, 90+2); 9-BobbyWood (17-Jozy Altidore, 79)
Subs not used: 1-Tim Howard, 22-Nick Rimando, 5-Matt Besler, 6-John Brooks, 8-Clint Dempsey, 13-Dax McCarty, 18-Jordan Morris, 21-Matt Hedges, 23-Fabian Johnson
Head coach: Bruce Arena 

MEX: 13-Guillermo Ochoa; 3-Carlos Salcedo, 5-Diego Reyes, 15-Héctor Moreno (capt.), 4-Oswaldo Alanís (23-Jesùs Gallardo, 31); 6-Jonathan Dos Santos (18-Orbelín Pineda, 77), 16-Héctor Herrera, 8-Marco Fabián (7-Javier Aquino, 53); 11-Carlos Vela, 14-Javier Hernández, 22-Hirving Lozano
Subs not used: 1-Rodolfo Cota, 12-Alfredo Talavera, 2-Luis Reyes, 9-Raúl Jiménez, 10-Giovani dos Santos, 17-Jürgen Damm, 19-Oribe Peralta, 20-Jesús Dueñas, 21-Jesús Molina
Head coach: Juan Carlos Osorio 

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 7 / 10
Shots on Goal: 2 / 1
Saves: 0 / 0
Corner Kicks: 7 / 9
Fouls: 21 / 13
Offside: 2 / 2 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – DeAndre Yedlin (caution)              44th minute
USA – Paul Arriola (caution)                    56

Officials:
Referee: Joel Aguilar Chicas (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Francisco Zumba Galan (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: William Torres Mejia (SLV)
Fourth Official: Jose Kellys Marquez (CRC) 

Budweiser Man of the Match: Michael Bradley