"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."
COLUMBUS – 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 with the 57th goal of his U.S. career.
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).
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.
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.
USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann moves to 25-9-6 since taking the coaching reins in 2011. He becomes the fifth USA coach to earn 25 victories, joining Bruce Arena (71-30-29), Bob Bradley (43-25-12), Bora Milutinovic (30-35-31) and Steve Sampson (26-22-14).
Since 2000, the USA has posted a 12-5-4 record against Mexico, including a 10-2-3 record at home during that span. The U.S. is now 17-32-13 all-time against Mexico.