COLUMBUS, Ohio (Nov. 11, 2016) – Despite a 49th minute strike from Bobby Wood and a spirited second half performance, the U.S. Men’s National Team fell 2-1 to Mexico in front of a sold-out crowd of 24,650 at MAPFRE Stadium in the opening match of the Final Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying on Friday night.
Early pressure from Mexico saw the visitors break through first as Miguel Layun’s shot received just enough of a deflection to sneak inside the lower left post in the 20th minute. After losing starting goalkeeper Tim Howard to a right groin strain in the 40th minute, the U.S. came out raring to go in the second half, putting Mexico on its heels with the help of Bobby Wood’s strike early in the half to knot the game at 1-1.
Energized by the goal, the U.S. set about looking for the go-ahead marker. Jermaine Jones, Omar Gonzalez, Jozy Altidore and Wood came close, but were turned away by goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera and the Mexico defense.
Just as it looked like the teams would settle for a draw, Rafael Marquez’s 89th minute header at the near post lifted Mexico to a 2-1 victory.
Next on the Schedule: The U.S. MNT visits Costa Rica for the second match of Final Round World Cup Qualifying on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica (beIN SPORTS, NBC Universo). Social: Twitter (@ussoccer; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram; Snapchat (ussoccer_mnt)
Goal Scoring Rundown:
MEX – Miguel Layun (Giovani dos Santos), 20th minute: With the ball held up by Michael Bradley and Giovani dos Santos just outside the area, the Mexico attacker won the battle, by chopping the ball loose as Layun ran onto it, firing a shot that deflected off Timmy Chandler before sneaking inside the lower left post. USA 0, MEX 1 [WATCH]
USA – Bobby Wood (Jozy Altidore), 49th minute: John Brooks started the play, picking out a pass and quickly beginning the transition into attack with a lofted ball for Jozy Altidore. The veteran MNT forward held it up before turning towards goal, with his thundering run allowing space to slot Bobby Wood into the box. There, the Hamburg forward split the Mexico defense before hitting a low shot that Tallavera got a piece of but couldn’t prevent from hitting the back of the net. USA 1, MEX 1 [WATCH]
MEX – Rafael Marquez (Miguel Layun), 89th minute: A corner kick from Miguel Layun picked out Marquez at the near left post and his glancing header redirected across the face of goal past substitute goalkeeper Brad Guzan into the far right side netting. USA 1, MEX 2 [WATCH]
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Tim Howard, 10th minute: The first chance of the match came from Mexico, when a build-up through midfield saw Giovani dos Santos play Jesus Manuel Corona into the top of the area. Holding up in the corner of the box, Corona cut inside before unleashing a curling right-footed blast that saw Howard make a finger-tip save off the left post.
MEX – Rafael Marquez, 46th minute: Seconds out of the halftime break the U.S. put Mexico under siege. Christian Pulisic got on the end of a ball down the left where he made his way to the end line. His centering pass took a deflection and fell back to the top of the box for Fabian Johnson, whose volley towards goal was spilled by Talavera. The ball was cleared just outside the area where Jermaine Jones hit a first-time blast that Marquez got in front of to kill of the danger.
MEX – Alfredo Talavera, 58th minute: After heavy pressure from Bobby Wood forced a U.S. corner kick, Michael Bradley’s take from the right found Omar Gonzalez whose headed effort at the near post was well held by Talavera.
MEX – Alfredo Talavera, 74th minute: A driven free kick from Bradley found Altidore at the top of the area where the MNT forward chested down for Wood. Looking for his second goal, Wood turned before blasting a heavy shot that Talavera didn’t know much about, but was able to parry away.
MEX – Alfredo Talavera, 77th minute: Pulisic forced a turnover and was fouled just outside the area, setting up a free kick from the top of the penalty arc. On the ensuing take, Altidore hit a well-placed shot that saw Talavera forced to push over his cross bar.
- With the result, the USA moves to 12-5-1 in 2016.
- Bobby Wood’s 49th minute goal was the eighth of his international career, fourth of 2016 and fourth of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying cycle.
- Altidore’s assist on Wood’s goal was the 10th all-time for the U.S. MNT and second of 2016.
- Wood and Altidore have combined for 11 goals in the seven matches they’ve started up front together.
- Making his 33rd World Cup Qualifying appearance, Howard moved into a tie with DaMarcus Beasley for third on the MNT’s all-time WCQ caps list. The pair sits behind only Landon Donovan (40) and Clint Dempsey (34).
- Howard also made his 111th overall appearance for the USA, moving past Carlos Bocanegra and Paul Caligiuri for ninth on the MNT’s all-time appearance list.
- Howard was replaced by Brad Guzan in the 40th minute after picking up an injury on a goal kick moments earlier.
- Defender John Brooks made his World Cup Qualifying debut in his 28th match for the USA.
- Christian Pulisic returns to MAPFRE Stadium where he made his MNT debut in a 4-0 World Cup Qualifying victory against Guatemala on March 29, 2016. At 17 years, 193 days, Pulisic became the youngest player appear in a World Cup qualifier for the MNT that night.
- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: Nov. 11, 2016
Competition: 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia - Qualifier
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: 48 degrees; Partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
MEX 1 1 2
MEX – Miguel Layún 20th minute
USA – Bobby Wood (Jozy Altidore) 49
MEX – Rafael Márquez (Miguel Layún) 89
USA: 1-Tim Howard (12-Brad Guzan, 40); 21-Timmy Chandler (2-DeAndre Yedlin 74), 3-Omar Gonzalez, 6-John Brooks, 5-Matt Besler (14-Michael Orozco, 81); 23-Fabian Johnson, 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 13-Jermaine Jones; 10-Christian Pulisic, 17-Jozy Altidore, 7-Bobby Wood
Subs: 22-William Yarbrough, 8-Alan Gordon, 9-Aron Johannsson, 11-Alejandro Bedoya, 15-Steve Birnbaum, 16-Sacha Kljestan, 18-Julian Green, 19-Graham Zusi, 20-Lynden Gooch
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
MEX: 12-Alfredo Talavera; 4-Rafael Márquez (capt.), 5-Diego Reyes (2-Hugo Ayala, 46), 7-Miguel Layún, 10-Giovani dos Santos, 11-Carlos Vela, 14-Javier Hernández, 15-Héctor Moreno, 16-Héctor Herrera, 17-Jesús Manuel Corona, 18-Andrés Guardado (3-Carlos Salcedo, 28)
Subs: 1-Jesús Corona, 13-Guillermo Ochoa, 20-Jesús Dueñas, 22-Orbelín Pineda, 8-Marco Fabián, 9-Raúl Jiménez, 19-Oribe Peralta, 6-Jonathan dos Santos, 23-Hirving Lozano, 21-Oswaldo Alanís
Head coach: Juan Carlos Osorio
Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 9 / 11
Shots on Goal: 5 / 5
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 18 / 13
Offside: 1 / 4
MEX – Diego Reyes (caution) 10th minute
USA – John Brooks (caution) 15
USA – Timmy Chandler (caution) 44
MEX – Héctor Herrera (caution) 58
MEX – Carlos Vela (caution) 64
USA – Matt Besler (caution) 68
MEX – Miguel Layún (caution) 70
MEX – Carlos Salcedo (caution) 76
MEX – Carlos Salcedo (caution) 90+3
MEX – Carlos Salcedo (ejection) 90+3
Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Leonel Leal (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Gerson Lopez (GUA
4th Official: Oscar Reyna (GUA)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Bobby Wood