Found September 11, 2013 on
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Woohoo! It’s official, after defeating Mexico 2-0, we’re headed to Brazil next summer. And as in “we’re”, I mean the US Men’s National Team (USMNT). Before the match, veteran player and leader Landon Donovan guaranteed another 2-0 or dos a cero victory over archrival, Mexico. Last night, he and the rest of the boys in red, white, and blue delivered.
The match took place in Columbus, which has sort of become a home away for home for the USMNT and a nightmare for Mexico. Since 2001, when the two CONCACAF teams have met in Columbus, the US Men have dominated, 2-0. With tradition on its side, the team and the fans in the crowd new what was on the line. As tension built throughout a scoreless first half, fans in attendance stayed on their feet, relentlessly chanting “Dos a cero! Dos a cero!” and were finally rewarded with a chance to celebrate in the second half. Eddie Johnson connected with a Donovan corner kick and finished off the header to put the USMNT ahead, 1-0, in the 49th minute. Then, in the 78th minute, Donovan officially put Mexico to bed with a goal of his own.
Despite the team’s confidence, they knew nothing was guaranteed and the recent struggles of both Mexico and the US only increased the pressure on both sides. After a Friday loss to Honduras, Mexico fired manager Jose Manuel de la Torre immediately following the game and replaced him with Luis Fernando Tena.
The US Men had its own challenges to overcome after a demoralizing 3-1 loss to Costa Rica on Friday. Key players Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore were both unavailable last night. Bradley had an ankle injury, while Altidore’s absence was due to yellow card accumulation. Not to mention, goalkeeper Tim Howard was trying to bounce back after giving up three goals. But the team rallied together, played stellar defense and took care of business.
Yet, even with the win, the USMNT awaited the outcome of Honduras-Panama to see if they’d officially qualified for the World Cup. Fans in Columbus stuck around as well. Once the final score, a 2-2 draw was announced, and it was confirmed that USMNT had qualified for its seventh World Cup, the party officially began.
Here are highlights from last night’s exciting match:
Congrats to the USMNT. Let the jingoism begin!
image via USAToday
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[H/T to The Big Lead]
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