USA 2, Mexico 0 | International Friendly Match Recap
2-0. What else could it be?
A very familiar scoreline was the final talking point as the US national team defeated the Mexican national team 2-0 on Wednesday in front of a sellout crowd at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
It was a special night for Stanford sophomore and Seattle Sounders academy product Jordan Morris, who scored his first international goal on the senior level -- despite not being a professional yet -- in the 49th minute, taking advantage of a broken play and a gap in the Mexican defense. New England Revolution forward Juan Agudelo, who subbed on in the 65th minute to make his first international appearance in a year, iced the game with a well-taken strike from distance in 72nd minute.
The famous "dos a cero" scoreline -- Wednesday marked the eighth time the score has finished 2-0 among 13 US wins against Mexico since the start of 2000 -- will only help stoke the competitive fires between the countries ahead of this summer's Gold Cup tournament, where both teams are lined up as favorites to reach the finals.
Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera is apparently motivated, as he said postgame he was looking forward to meeting the US in the Gold Cup final, where he said history would change, presumably in Mexico's favor:
The Yanks are now 13-5-5 against Mexico since the start of 2000. US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann remains unbeaten against Mexico in six matches (3 wins, 0 losses, 3 draws).
Both sides in Wednesday's friendly consisted primarily of players from either Liga MX or MLS, including one player who bridges the divide, El Tri and Houston Dynamo striker Erick "Cubo" Torres, currently on loan at Chivas de Guadalajara. Two USMNT starters, defenders Ventura Alvarado and Greg Garza, and one substitute, goalkeeper William Yarbrough, play professionally in Mexico.
The first half was a choppy affair for both sides, and they spent much of their time on the ball in the middle third. Both teams had long-range speculative shots, but none of them were on target.
The US got what appeared to be an opening in the 28th minute, with Gyasi Zardes bearing down on goal but the ball was just beyond him, and he fell while trying to bring it down.
Then two minutes later, Morris, in his third senior team appearance and first start, dribbled down the left flank to the endline, but didn't have anyone in the area to pass to and too many Mexico defenders nearby to create a chance.
Eduardo Herrera had the best chance of the half, as his effort to stab the ball in from close range off a cross from Gerardo Flores in the 40th minute was barely on the wrong side of the post.
The US became more clinical in the second half, and were rewarded for their composure in the final third with their goals.
The first, in the 49th minute, came courtesy of a good buildup through the midfield. Michael Bradley sent a pass to Morris, making a diagonal run into the box. Morris brought the pass down and calmly finished it past Mexico goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo.
They then doubled their lead in the 72nd minute. Bradley, again involved in the set-up, sent a long pass forward to Agudelo, who looked for a quick pass himself, and not finding it, turned around, dribbled centrally and hit a cracking shot from outside the box to beat Saucedo once more.
Mexico had few answers after the break, with perhaps their best chance of the half just before the hour mark, as Torres received a nice pass from Luis Montes, but the subsequent shot was tame and Yarbrough, in his second appearance for the US, saved it easily.