U.S. MNT Qualifies for 2014 World Cup in Brazil with 2-0 Victory Against Mexico at Sold-Out Columbus Crew Stadium

COLUMBUS (Sept. 10, 2013) – In front of a raucous capacity crowd of 24,584 at Columbus Crew Stadium, the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Mexico 2-0 in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying to earn its berth to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The victory, combined with Honduras tying Panama 2-2 in Tegucigalpa an hour later, provided the USA its seventh-consecutive FIFA World Cup berth and 10th overall.

USA vs. Mexico, presented by AT&T, was billed as the most anticipated match of the Hexagonal, and the U.S. did not disappoint. For the fourth-consecutive time during a World Cup Qualifying cycle, the USA defeated Mexico 2-0 at Crew Stadium.

“They’re experienced players, they’ve played these games before and they know what these games are about,” U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said of his team, which was playing without several key players to injury or yellow card accumulation. “I told them over the last couple days that I expect their leadership. I expect them to carry us through difficult moments, whatever happens.”

Eddie Johnson scored the 19th goal of his career and 12th tally in World Cup Qualifying, knifing through the center of the penalty area to smash home a header off a Landon Donovan corner kick in the 49th minute. Donovan clinched the game – and sealed the now-famous score line – in the 78th minute.

The USA came with inches of winning 3-0, but captain Clint Dempsey struck a penalty kick just outside the right post in second half stoppage time after he was taken down in the right side of the penalty box following a nifty dribble.

The U.S. Men’s National team has set a new record for victories in a calendar year with 14, improving to 14-3-2 in 2013 and topping the previous record of 13 wins set in 2005 and 2009.

The U.S. resumes 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying when it hosts Jamaica on Oct. 11 in Kansas City, Kan. Kickoff at Sporting Park is set for 5:30 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio.

Four days later, the USA completes the Hexagonal when it faces Panama at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City. Coverage on beIN SPORT begins at 10 p.m. ET. Fans can follow both matches live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer.

A desperate Mexico team fighting for its World Cup life came out with energy at the beginning of the match, but the USA soon settled into the game, and several solid stops from goalkeeper Tim Howard sent the teams scoreless into halftime.

The U.S. changed the match early in the second half off Donovan’s corner kick from the right side. Mexican goalkeeper Jesús Corona rushed off of his line to try an intercept the service, but he was too late. As Clarence Goodson created a path for Johnson, the U.S. striker fended off Mexico’s Diego Reyes and crisply headed the ball past Mexico defender Fernando Arce, who could not react quickly enough to clear the ball away with his right foot.

In the 78th minute, Donovan crushed Mexico’s hopes and stamped the USA’s tickets to Brazil off a brilliant assist from Mix Diskerud. The 76th-minute sub chipped the ball to himself in the right side of the penalty area, beat a defender with a touch toward the end line and sent a service on the ground across the face of the goal. Dempsey got a piece of the ball, re-directing it just enough that it evaded the goalkeeper and a defender, and Donovan roofed his shot from four yards out into the empty net. The goal gave Donovan six in his career against Mexico.

With the goal and an assist, Donovan broke his U.S. MNT points record for a calendar year with 24 in 2013 (eight goals, eight assists), besting his previous points mark of 22 in 2007 (nine goals, four assists).

Mexico was playing its first match under Luis Fernando Tena, who replaced fired head coach Jose Manuel de la Torre. The visitors created the majority of the scoring chances in the first half but faded in the second half as the Americans turned up the pressure in front of a partisan, screaming crowd. Howard logged yet another game in which he led from the back, making three saves on the way to the clean sheet, the 32nd of his career, tied for second-most with 1990 and 1994 World Cup starter Tony Meola.

Howard’s key stops included a dive to his right turn away a Christian Gimenez left-footed strike in the 19th minute and a lunging save against Giovani Dos Santos in the 44th minute. He also turned away a Diego Reyes header in first-half stoppage time.

Additional Notes:

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: Sept. 10, 2013
Competition: 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – Final Round
Venue: Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Attendance: 24,584 (sellout)
Weather: 90 degrees, humid

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

USA – Eddie Johnson (Landon Donovan)               49th minute
USA – Landon Donovan (Mix Diskerud)               78

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

Referee: Courtney Campbell (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Ricardo Antonio Morgan (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Garnet Page (JAM)
Fourth Official: Valdin Legister (JAM)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Landon Donovan