2002 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Final Round

US Soccer

WAY BACK: DaMarcus Beasley Remembers First World Cup Qualifier From 2001 in Trinidad & Tobago

When the U.S. Men’s National stepped onto the vaunted Estadio Azteca pitch during June’s World Cup Qualifying clash a little history was made. MNT and Liga MX veteran DaMarcus Beasley was slotted in at left back for the difficult tie, making his first appearance of the USA’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaign and in turn, becoming the first MNT player to appear in five dif Read more
MNT Oct 9, 2017

IN PHOTOS: Earnie Stewart Remembers 2001 World Cup Qualifiers vs. Honduras

The U.S. MNT initially met Honduras in 1965 and actually earned its first World Cup Qualifying win in Central America in a 1-0 victory on March 17 in Tegucigalpa. The two nations wouldn’t face each other again in qualifying until 2001, with both matches providing great goals and other memorable moments along the way. Serving as captain in both matches, Earnie Stewart also scored three Read more
MNT Mar 19, 2017
US Soccer

Josh Wolff and the Spark that Set the Dos a Cero Fire

Originally published on October 6, 2015.

When the schedule for the Final Round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup came around, the U.S. Soccer Federation had a different idea.

Drawn to play rivals Mexico first, and in February no less, U.S. Soccer decided to try and maximize home-field by taking advantage of the new phenomenon in the American game – the soccer specific stadium.

Columbus Crew Stadium (now MAPFRE Stadium) was the only one at the time, but with its smaller capacity and location in the heart of the Midwest, the venue proved a perfect spot for the U.S. to have its own unique home atmosphere in response to the heat, altitude and intensity that 100,000 fans at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City could provide. 

“It was a tremendous atmosphere,” remembered U.S. forward Josh Wolff. “It was brutally cold. We had a fantastic crowd and there was a lot to play for. Obviously it’s a qualifier, but it’s even bigger when you’re playing against Mexico. It couldn’t have been any nicer – a chilly night that the Mexican players probably didn’t enjoy, but for us, it was probably a bit of gamesmanship. I think we were excited about the idea of playing in front of our fans on a nice cold night where we could take advantage of it.”

Wolff didn’t start the match that night in late February 2001. When Bruce Arena selected him for the game-day 18, if he was to be used at all, the idea was more likely as a late-game sub.

After 15 minutes, things changed.

With Brian McBride’s right eye looking like he received a haymaker from Mike Tyson more than the clash of heads he took going up for a 50/50 ball, Wolff was called upon as his replacement and got his taste of the chippy nature in the match when he was shown a yellow card for a foul on Rafael Carmona in the 40th minute.

He was joined on the field just before halftime by an old, familiar face in Clint Mathis. Wolff’s former college teammate at the University of South Carolina was tapped to enter the game for Claudio Reyna, who pulled up with a groin injury after stepping to make a seemingly routine pass.

Having burned two subs to replace two of the side’s key players, Wolff and Mathis were certainly the unlikeliest of heroes for the second half, but they proved the odds wrong.

Just after the break, the South Carolina boys, who both hailed from neighboring Georgia, connected on what has become one of the more memorable goals in U.S. World Cup Qualifying history.

“The ball fell to Clint and Mexico was playing a pretty high line,” Wolff recalled. “Obviously I’d played with Clint for a number of years and we had a pretty good understanding of one another. It was just me taking a chance to run the line really well there.”

Mexico’s back line was so high that they were all pinching into the U.S. half of the field when Mathis quickly hit the ball into space for Wolff, who was a step inside the USA half of the midfield stripe.

“Clint hits a great ball over the top,” Wolff continued. “It’s a bit of a foot race with Jorge [Campos] and it was just one of those balls where it’s a 50/50 and I was able to come out with the other side of him. At that point, you just kind of roll it in the open goal and get on with the celebration. The goal was a scramble in the end, but it was a good way to start that game for me and helped fuel us the rest of the match.”

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MNT Oct 18, 2016
US Soccer

Gallery: 2001 - Dos a Cero Begins

The FIFA World Cup Qualifier on Feb. 28, 2001 between the USA and Mexico before a raucous crowd at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio saw the USA beat their arch-rival 2-0 to start the "dos a cero" trend that would become so memorable over the next decade. Read more
MNT Sep 19, 2016

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US Soccer

U.S. and Trinidad & Tobago Play to Scoreless Draw to Conclude Qualifying

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (Sunday, November 11, 2001) - The U.S. Men's National Team finished the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying today with a 0-0 draw versus Trinidad & Tobago at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Making his first appearance in a World Cup Qualifer and his first appearance for the U.S. in 2001, goalkeeper Zach Thornton was named "Chevrolet Man of t Read more
MNT Nov 11, 2001

U.S. Qualifies for Fourth Consecutive World Cup with 2-1 Win Over Jamaica

Match Highlights FOXBORO, Mass. (Sunday, October 7, 2001) - Facing a must-win situation in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying, the U.S. Men’s National Team earned a berth to the 2002 World Cup with a 2-1 win over Jamaica today at Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. U.S. forward and Chevrolet Man of the Match Joe-Max Moore scored goals in the 4th and 81st minutes to help the U.S. finish undefe Read more
MNT Oct 7, 2001
US Soccer

Fonseca's Two Goals Help Costa Rica Down U.S. 2-0 to Clinch Spot in 2002 World Cup

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Wednesday, September 5, 2001) - Two goals by forward Rolando Fonseca were enough for Costa Rica to secure a 2-0 victory over the U.S. Men's National Team and clinch a spot in the field of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in front of nearly 30,000 exuberant fans at Saprissa Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica tonight. With the win, Costa Rica (6-1-1; 19 points) qualified for just its secon Read more
MNT Sep 5, 2001

U.S. Suffer 3-2 Home Defeat to Honduras in World Cup Qualifier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Saturday, September 1, 2001) - Despite two goals from captain Earnie Stewart, the United States Men's National Team suffered a 3-2 defeat to visiting Honduras before a charged crowd of 54,282 in the nation's capital, ending the USA's 19-match home unbeaten run in qualifying play. Milton Nunez netted twice on either side of a Carlos Pavon penalty kick to give the Hondurans 11 p Read more
MNT Sep 1, 2001

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 q Read more
MNT Jul 1, 2001

U.S. Defeats Trinidad & Tobago, 2-0, on Goals from Razov & Stewart

FOXBORO, Mass. (Wednesday, June 20, 2001) - Behind two goals in the first 20 minutes, the U.S. Men's National Team sailed to a 2-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago in front of a pro-American crowd of 31,211 in an exciting World Cup Qualifying match tonight at Foxboro Stadium. The U.S. is now unbeaten in nine all-time games in Foxboro with a 6-0-3 record dating back to 1991. With the win, the USA rem Read more
MNT Jun 20, 2001

Keller, Staunch Defense Help U.S. Earn Hard-Fought Point from 0-0 Draw Versus Jamaica in World Cup Qualifier in Kingston

KINGSTON, Jamaica (Saturday, June 16, 2001) - The United States Men's National Team took another step toward advancing to the 2002 World Cup with a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Jamaica, despite the sweltering heat, the boisterous crowd of more than 35,000 fans and the rough field conditions at National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. With the tie and the point, the United States sits in first place amo Read more
MNT Jun 16, 2001

U.S. Men Top Costa Rica 1-0 in World Cup Qualifier in K.C.; Wolff and Mathis Combine Again for Game-Winner

KANSAS CITY (Wednesday, April 25, 2001) - The United States Men's National Team took a giant step towards advancing to the 2002 World Cup with a 1-0 victory against Costa Rica in front of a record soccer crowd of 37,319 fans at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. With the win, the United States sits high atop the CONCACAF qualifying group with a perfect nine points after three matches. The top t Read more
MNT Apr 25, 2001

U.S. Powers Their Way to Major Road Victory in World Cup Qualifying in Honduras, 2-1

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (Wednesday, March 28, 2001) - The U.S. Men's National Team showed off a confident and powerful display of soccer tonight in defeating Honduras 2-1 at Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and maintained their firm grip on first place in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying after two matches. Behind goals from U.S. midfielders Earnie Stewart and Clint Mathis, the U.S. exte Read more
MNT Mar 28, 2001

U.S. Opens Final Qualifying Round With 2-0 Win Over Mexico at Frigid, Sold-Out Crew Stadium

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Wednesday, February 28, 2001) - Important first-half substitute Josh Wolff had a goal and assist to help the U.S. Men's National Team open their final round of World Cup qualifying with a 2-0 defeat of Mexico tonight in front of a sold-out crowd of 24,624 chilly fans at Columbus Crew Stadium. Wolff, who earned Chevrolet Man of the Match honors for his performance off the bench, Read more
MNT Feb 28, 2001



Date Matchup Result Venue Attendance Goal Scorers
0-0 D Hasely Crawford Stadium; Port of Spain, Trinidad 5,000
2-1 W Foxboro Stadium; Foxborough, Mass. 40,483 Moore (2)
0-2 L Estadio Ricardo Saprissa; San Jose, Costa Rica 19,200 --
2-3 L RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C. 54,282 Stewart (2)
0-1 L Estadio Azteca; Mexico City, Mexico 110,000
2-0 W Foxboro Stadium; Foxborough, Mass. 31,211 Razov, Stewart
0-0 D National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica 35,000
1-0 W Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, Mo. 37,319 Wolff
2-1 W Estadio Olimpico; San Pedro Sula, Honduras 46,000 Stewart, Mathis
2-0 W Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio 24,624 Wolff, Stewart