PHOENIX - The United States Men's National Team (USMNT) and the Mexican National Team played out a 2-2 draw at the University of Phoenix Stadium in a World Cup qualification match. The American side took a two goal lead to the halftime break, but the Mexicans were able to come from behind in the second half to draw lwvel.
During the first 45 minutes the USMNT made Mexico look really bad. It was the Mexican side that controlled the majority of the possession in the early minutes, but the USA took full advantage of the wide open spaces the Mexican defense left and made them pay.
In the 13th minute Clint Dempsey sent in a cross from a free kick that Omar Gonzalez was able to head towards the goal. Mexican goalkeeper Moises Muńoz has able t block it and send it to a corner kick.
During the ensuing corner kick Monterrey midfielder Jesus Zavala completely lost his man Michael Bradley who was able to meet the cross and slid in to push the ball into the back of the net for the first goal.
Despite the dominance in possession from El Tri their first and only real chance of the first half came in the 22nd second minute when left wing-back Miguel Layun pushed up the field, cut inside and had a shot that came really close to Nick Rimando's goal.
Five minutes later in the 27th minute the U.S. were able to double their lead through Chris Wondolowski. A cross came in from the left side of the field, Michael Bradley was able to anticipate Francisco Javier "Maza" Rodriguez and flick the ball with his head to the back post to where Wondo was able to beat out Mexican captain Rafael Marquez.
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MEXICO
For the second half Mexican manager Miguel "Piojo" Herrera made several substitutions and brought on players who have been part of the base of this National Team. PLayers like Paul Aguilar, Juan Carlos "Negrito" Medina, and Raul Jimenez were all second half subs that changed the face of the team.
The changes would not take long to reflect; in the 48th minute Raul Jimenez was able to dribble past two defenders on the left side of the field. His cross was cut down by the American defense.
In the ensuing corner kick, Rafa Marquez was able to leave his marker behind and freely head in the ball from the center of the box to get Mexico on the board.
El Tri kept pushing forward looking for the equalizing goal, one that they would find in the 67th minute through Tigres striker Alan Pulido. Pulido was able to tap in the rebound from a Paul Aguilar shot who had combined well with Luis Montes on the right side of the field to find the space to shoot.
The home side thought they had found a winning goal with five minutes to go in the match when Eddie Johnson beat out Rafael Marquez to a through ball. Johnson calmly slotted the ball past Alfredo Talavera; but the assistant referee raised his flag to signal offside and cancel out the goal.
Both teams really pushed to find a winner, but were not able to find one and had to settle for the a tie.