27 March 2005

Mexico 2 - 1 USA

PregameA fairly defensive lineup for the U.S. Onyewu will get a stern test in place of Eddie Pope. Hope he's up to it.
5Good chance for Reyna off Eddie Johnson's layoff. The Mexicans haven't come out with as much fire as I thought they might. The U.S. actually is getting some time on the ball. I wonder if that's a tactical move or just the smog.
6Great defense block on Fonseca's shot in the box. Onyewu, I think.
9Good attempted through ball for Eddie Lewis that's about 3 yards too long. The U.S. is asking questions and not just sitting back.
13Great tackle in the midfield by Maestroeni, but the turnover comes to nothing. Still, that level of commitment is good to see from the U.S. midfield.
17Blanco talks some smack after Beasley fouls him, but DaMarcus laughs it off. All part of Blanco's strategy to work the referee, who, so far seems up to the challenge.
20Borgetti gets a head on a cross from the left flank, but Onyewu put enough pressure on Borgetti and the ball loops over the crossbar. They'll be more crosses to come though.
24Mexico strings some nice passes together in the midfield and springs a man free. Keller is alert and comes out to clear the danger. Mexico's beginning to look more dangerous and the crowd is becoming more animated.
27Yellow card for Blanco for challenge from behind on Cherundulo. Maybe that will calm him down a bit, he's been the most agressive player on the Mexican side by far.
31Goal for Mexico. After some good work from Fonseca and a cross from the right, Pardo nods the ball back to the middle for Borgetti to head into an empty net. Onyewu was a step late closing down and Borgetti didn't forgive.
33Disaster! Mexico gets a second goal. Borgetti heads a long ball down for Naelson, who's inexplicably left all alone and calmly sidefoots the ball past a stranded Keller. The U.S. really needs to regroup here to have any chance.
36Yikes, the U.S. defense is clearly rattled as Bocanegra fails to clear a harmless ball is the box and gifts a great chance to Fonseca who thankfully knocks the ball wide.
41LaVolpe, Mexico's coach gets sent off. He must have said something that the fourth official overheard and didn't appreciate. I wonder how that might affect the game. It can't help Mexico.
43Donavan cuts the ball back and gets a shot off, but it has neither the power or placement to trouble Sanchez. Mexico clear the corner and break quickly but Blanco's shot at the other end is blocked.
HalftimeThe U.S. backline lost its concentration for a few minutes and Mexico made them pay dearly. The U.S. has shown it can create. They'll need to throw more bodies forward if they expect to get any points from this match. Reyna's been a non-factor- time for Captain America to step up.
47Beasley wins a corner. Eddie Johnson rises gracefully but can't make contact.
50Donovan gives the ball away in the offensive third. That's the second time he's misread the runs of the U.S. attackers and squandered a promising opportunity.
51Yellow card for Berhalter. It's deserved as he's been hacking at the Mexicans all day.
52Great chance for the U.S. as Johnson steps over a Donovan pass and leaves Eddie Lewis with an open shot from just outside the box. It's too close to the keeper however and Sanchez makes the save. That's by far the best look the U.S. has had.
54It's a wide open start to the second have as Mexico slot a ball behind the U.S. defense. Again, Keller is alert and rushes out to clear.
56Again, Mexico get behind the U.S. defense and Keller is left exposed. He comes out and gets enough of Fonseca's shot to keep it out.
58 Nice spell of possession for the U.S. sees them string several passes together and leads eventually to another open shot for Eddie Lewis. This time, he buries it into the bottom left corner from about 20 yards. Game on!
61A fortunate rebound sees Eddie Johnson spring forward, but Mexico is back in numbers and eventually snuff out the U.S. attack.
62Great run and cross from Cherundulo which draws Sanchez out of his net, but no one is in the center to nod the ball home for the U.S. Still, the U.S. has Mexico on their heels.
66Mexico makes a change: Medina for Borgetti, a defensive move.
67Reyna's been more involved in the second half and he put a great cross that Sanchez has to dive to clear.
68Medina, just on, breaks down the right wing but his cross is behind everyone. More subs for Mexico. Morales for Blanco and Perez for Lozano. Again, more defensive changes, but it's somewhat surprising that Mexico would use all its substitutions so early.
70Arena counters by changing Ralston for Maestroeni. Ralston's a good provider.
74The first signs of fatigue are starting to show and Beasley has his hands on his knees.
75Great save from Keller on a long range shot by Pardo. All the chances are falling Mexico's way now.
76Fonseca drags a shot wide after a good give and go by Mexico. You've got to admire the U.S. effort, they're working for a point. The danger is it might end up costing them a third goal.
78Noonan, just on for Bocanegra, fouls a Mexican player right on the edge of the area. Great free kick chance for Mexico. Morales takes it. It's headed to the righthand corner but Keller gets down and makes a fantastic save.
82Mexico enjoys some sustained pressure but timely clearances from Onweyu and Donovan thwart them. The U.S. defenders are tiring a bit.
83Brian McBride comes on for Cherundulo. It's that last roll of the dice. Look for some long arial balls now. The U.S. made a habit of scoring late goals in the previous round of qualifying, lets see if they can do it again.
86Mexico's doing a good job of keeping the ball in the U.S. defensive third of the field and killing off the game.
88Great defensive play by Noonan to shut down Fonseca. The U.S. really need to get the ball forward.
89Eddie Johnson works hard outside the Mexican area, but his shot is blocked.
90McBride has acres of space, but Donovan overhits his pass. 3 minutes of stoppage time.
91The U.S. finally has some possession, but they give it away cheaply. Mexico break and Morales whiffs with the U.S. goal at his mercy.
93The U.S. working hard to create a last minute chance, but Ralston's long range shot is blocked. It's all over now.
94That's it. Mexico hang on for the three points. Still, a good second half effort from the U.S. Surely both these teams will qualify. The U.S. will need to regroup before Wednesday's match in Birmingham,AL against Guatemala where they would expect maximum points.

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