Clint Dempsey promptly stepped forward and fired high and wide to right. Simply to preserve "Dos-a-Cero."
And you can't tell me other wise.
Eddie Johnson headed the USA into the lead early in the second half and Landon Donovan sealed the game in the seventy-eighth minute and for the fourth consecutive World Cup qualifier, the US defeated Mexico 2-0 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
For the United States, the story will be the players who were inserted into the lineup for this key matchup after the USA's loss at Costa Rica. Alejandro Bedoya put in a tremendous shift at right midfield, Clarence Goodson and Kyle Beckerman were consistent throughout and Michael Parkhurst was forced into action at halftime due to a Fabian Johnson injury.
At the start of the game, Mexico has the early chances, forcing several corners out of the American defense. Christian Gimenez forced Tim Howard into a nice save, parrying a well struck shot in the 19th. Several US chances were blocked out minutes later as Mexico's defense stood strong.
Eddie Johnson, getting the start for the suspended Jozy Altidore, almost put the US into the lead in the first half, heading down a Donovan corner in the 32nd only to be denied spectacularly by Mexican keeper Jose Corona.But Eddie Johnson would not be denied in the 49th, as he nodded down another Donovan corner, in front of an onrushing Corona into the center of goal. It was Johnson's second goal of the qualifying campaign.
In the 76th minute, Mix Diskerud replaced Johnson, who accidentally was upended by Dempsey minutes earlier and was likely subbed out for precautionary reasons. But Diskerud would have an immediate impact, his darting run and cross through the box would miss Dempsey on the near post but Donovan would not miss from close range, scoring his first goal on the qualifying round and eighth of the summer counting all competitions.
It was another demoralizing performance for Mexico, as El Tri currently sits a tie for fifth place with Panama on eight points with a 1-5-2 record in the CONCACAF Hexagonal standings. Despite having a slight edge in possession (52%-48%) and having a distinct edge in corners (7-2), Mexico only registered three shots on goal out of thirteen and most of the shots were from the edge or outside the area.
But credit should go to Klinsmann, whose team wasn't able to recover from a pregame injury to Michael Bradley in Costa Rica just a few days ago. His lineup changes and substitutions have been nearly flawless of late and it proved his roster and talent pool is a deep as he thinks it is.
For the United States, the win put them on the brink of qualification for the World Cup next summer in Brazil. Thanks to a 2-2 draw from Panama and Honduras, the United States Men's National Team is back in the World Cup for the seventh consecutive time.
The celebrations and chants of "We Are Going To Brazil" will last into the night for the US and it's fans. And the loudest and longest of these might just come from Columbus, Ohio.
Because the capital of the US Men's National Team is without a doubt Crew Stadium.
More from The Bent Musket:
- USA vs. Mexico 2013: Lineups and Live Game Thread
- Boston Breakers Send Defender Carmelina Moscato to Seattle, Acquire Midfielder Kaylyn Kyle
- United States vs. Mexico 2013: CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Preview
- The 3rd Yellow - Revs vs. Impact Part 1 - Goalkeepers, Red Cards and Denial of a Goalscoring Opportunity
- Brazil vs. Portugal 2013 Preview: Neymar and Friends Converge on Gillette Stadium