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Dos a Cero again! … United States qualifies for World Cup 2014 after another 2-0 win over Mexico

Sep 10, 2013, 10:02 PM EST

Landon Donovan

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sure, it seemed like a foregone conclusion, but official passage into a World Cup is still a moment to celebrate for U.S. Soccer, whose players, coaches and legion of supporters can now bask – officially so – in the high achievement of advancing into a seventh consecutive World Cup.

The United States will indeed be going to Brazil in 2014, having now reached every World Cup since last failing to qualify in 1986.

The United States did its part Tuesday against thanks to a huge Eddie Johnson second half goal and a late insurance strike from noted and longtime Mexico killer Landon Donovan. When Honduras tied with Panama down in Central America (finishing about an hour later, and therefore preventing more immediate player celebrations), Jurgen Klinsmann’s team was officially “in” with two games to spare.

So, 2-0 once again for the United States national team against Mexico. Of course. (“Dos a cero” is Spanish for 2-0, just so you know.) Just like in 2001, 2005 and 2009, all in Columbus, all against Mexico in those past World Cup qualifiers. Just like the 2-0 score from El Tri’s painful loss to the United States in a 2002 World Cup elimination match.

“Dos a cero! … Dos a cero!” as the packed crowd at Crew Stadium taunted Mexico mercilessly. Along with “You’re not going to Brazil … You’re not going to Brazil!” – a chant that was one thing against little Panama … but this was mighty Mexico! And with the border rival thrown tossed further into turmoil, the crowd just might be right.

“This is a huge, huge evening for all of us,” Klinsmann said “The team gave everything tonight, from the first second on, the effort, how they were dedicated to each other. The crowd, unbelievable. Amazing, amazing crowd here in Columbus, and it pushed these guys. … Obviously, they are enjoying the moment now.”

(MORE: U.S. Man of the Match, Eddie Johnson)

Mexico remains in fourth place in the six-team final round qualifying group. That would get beleaguered El Tri into a play-in series against New Zealand.

The crowd at Crew Stadium, brilliantly red and so alive in song through most of the night, had gone just a little quiet as the game, a bit frenetic early, slowed due to the heat. But the smoke bombs went flying as Johnson rose high and muscled his way out of a late challenge from Diego Reyes to slam in the Landon Donovan’s well-aimed 49th minute corner kick.

Johnson has four goals in his last six matches for the national team. He has 12 career goals in World Cup qualifying, tied for second best all-time.

Second half sub Mix Diskerud did much of the work on Donovan’s late goal, but Dempsey had just enough of a touch to get the official assist. Donovan, barring injury, will be going to his fourth World Cup.

Mexico had time and space early against a U.S. midfield having some trouble sorting itself out. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard needed to be alert throughout the first 45, with big saves and plenty of traffic to work through on Mexican corner kicks.

Jermaine Jones and Kyle Beckerman eventually located their bearings in the middle. And while neither will remember Tuesday as their best passing night, they effectively clogged the middle against a Mexican team that prefers to attack right down the middle channel.

U.S. center backs Omar Gonzalez and Clarence Goodson were big in the middle, too, getting caught a little too high a couple of times in the first half but managing out outstanding nights otherwise. Right back Fabian Johnson was solid in defense as well before his halftime removal due to a hamstring strain.

source:  Klinsmann, as he has done so often, had some lineup surprises for everyone. Fabian Johnson became the latest stop-gap at right back, replacing Michael Orozco, who had struggled to make the adjustment from his usual center back position against Costa Rica.

Fabian Johnson, who has mostly been a left back and a left-sided attacker for the national team, had not played at right back for Klinsmann since the 1-0 win over Mexico last August at Azteca Stadium – back when seeing El Tri struggle at Azteca was a bigger deal.

Also out of favor was Graham Zusi, whose impact Friday was minimal. Alejandro Bedoya replaced Zusi along the right. And as expected, the veteran Goodson, among the foursome of reinforcements summoned over the weekend to replace the injured and suspended U.S. men, was the choice to partner Gonzalez at center back.

Finally, to fill the midfield gap Klinsmann rewarded Beckerman for all that steady Gold Cup work with his biggest start in any match since the 2009 MLS Cup final.

While Mexico managed to find some gaps and make things uncomfortable for the hosts right away, the United States needed about 15 minutes for its first real scoring opportunity. After Clint Dempsey was fouled, Donovan found Gonzalez at the far post on a free kick. The big center back arranged a dandy shot for Jones, who swung big but went high with his left foot.

(MORE: What we learned from Tuesday’s World Cup clincher)

Mostly, though, without Michael Bradley’s abilities as a midfield conduit, early versions of the United States attack were all about long balls over the midfield, which was having trouble putting any passes together. There was way too much room, meanwhile, for Mexican midfielders, who had time to pick out passes.

Given the Mexican’s possession and ability to look dangerous in spots, Beckerman and Johnson were lucky to escape early bookings after late fouls.

The hosts slowly began finding their way forward. Dempsey, Donovan and Jones all came close, going wide or seeing big shots softened by deflections. Eddie Johnson rose well to head a corner kick at goal, but right at goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona.

Once the United States got its goal, Howard was never tested as the United States kept Mexican scoring star Javier Hernandez and the rest of El Tri mostly bottled up.

(MORE: Even Tim Howard wanted the score to read “2-0″)

 

  1. Anoesis - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Four 2-0 wins over Mexico in Columbus. The U.S. team should make it a point to schedule all games like this at Crew Stadium. The atmosphere is outstanding and the team seems to thrive there, at least against Mexico.

  2. seanb20124 - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    What happened to Mexican team? Used to be better than USA .

    • chrish3k - Sep 10, 2013 at 11:22 PM

      I’d say you answered your own question… It is the team aspect. The difference between the two teams @ individual technical ability is not as wide as it was – Mexico is talented position by position. But, fact is, the collective is greater than the parts, and that is with some serious growth by our guys.

      • braxtonrob - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:15 AM

        Newsflash @chrish3k, we’re (USA) better than Mexico individually too (and have been for some time now)

  3. cubanxsenators - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Se dice “Dos POR cero”, no?

    • papito1421 - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:47 PM

      Dos a cero es la forma correcta. El dos por cero viene del uso en Inglés (2 x 0)…

  4. footballer4ever - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Woohoo! No matter how you slice it, USA is Mexico’s daddy!

    • handsofsweed - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:53 PM

      Mexico, USA’s beard.

  5. hildezero - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Wow! The US played great out there! It was without Bradley and Jozy. Great atmosphere and great coaching by Klinsy!

    • cubanxsenators - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:30 PM

      The US did not play great out there. That was an ugly, ugly game.

  6. footballer4ever - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    @cubanxsenators

    Dos x zero o Dos a zero, same thing…it’s all about semantics.

  7. futbol247365 - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Where are the Guzan fan boys, that loud mouth Costa Rican and all the Run DMB haters tonight? Great game, even better effort from the boys tonight! Back on top of the group and looking strong. Great lineup choices from Klinsy and nice, positive runs from our fullbacks. Jermaine Jones also played a very smart game tonight. Great, great, great effort! To Brazil!

    • braxtonrob - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:17 AM

      Guzan is STILL are best keeper; however, Howard was MOTM and absolutely STELLAR all night long. He and Eddie Johnson practically beat Mexico single-handedly.

      • notaretard - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:23 PM

        @braxton

        johnson’s goal is largely due to incredibly poor decision-making and positioning by the keeper. johnson had a great game, but if their keeper stays on his line like he should have, that’s an easy save

  8. kane337 - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    USA USA USA USA USA USA USA

  9. hildezero - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    @cubanxsenators,

    Well, I feel bad for you, Mexico fan!

    • cubanxsenators - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:42 AM

      Son, do you even know who Perry Van der Beck is?

  10. dfstell - Sep 10, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    I was there. It was awesome.

    The two things that struck me seeing it live were (a) how completely outclassed athletically the Mexicans are and (b) how they totally quit.

    They might have a slight technical edge over use sometimes, but it isn’t that big of an edge and all of their guys are little and slow. Tactically dumb too….I mean, why no low crosses? Every high ball just got swallowed up by Omar and Goodson…..easily. They had all of those crosses covered the second the ball left the crosser’s foot.

    They also quit. Snapping at each other after every play, not finishing runs. They just totally quit. I won’t be at all surprised if they don’t qualify (especially because we’re not going to take a good team to Panama….LOL).

  11. Jackson Scofield - Sep 10, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    Reblogged this on ScoSports and commented:
    USA, along with the Netherlands, Italy, Costa Rica, and Argentina, qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil today. They join the already-qualified group of Brazil, Japan, Australia, Iran, and South Korea.

  12. mknow406a - Sep 10, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    It was a post on this site q while back, asking where was the growth of Diskerud from the match in Moscow… there is maybe 2 or 3 other players in the ENTIRE USMNT pool that could have made that run tonight… he simply came in with a touch and vision beyond most of his peers.

    Also, we again witnessed the enigma that is Jermaine Jones. As horrible as he was against Costa Rica, he was as good tonight against Mexico at both ends… I can completely understand why Klinsman finds it hard to sit him… when he is on his game, he really is a difference maker, He’s just so darn inconsistent.

    I can’t believe I am even writing this, but at this point, Mexico is TRULY a second tier CONCACAF squad. Nobody can say that this line-up last Friday would have gotten a result in Costa Rica, but yet el Tri had NO answers…. that’s not to diminish the lads accomplishments tonight. Rather, while el Tri has a solid 11, Klinsman has overseen the development of a complete squad… and I don’t think he gets enough credit for that.

    • NtrlDipMOtl - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:14 AM

      Nice post @mknow! Wholly agree.USA’s wildcards (jones and beckerman) put on an impressive show tonight.

    • braxtonrob - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:22 AM

      @mknow, very well said! and nice post! Diskerud raised my other eyebrow tonight.
      I think Jermaine Jones and Beasley are good off the bench, but until we find players that can start in front of them, they’re doing an (overall) competent job.

  13. medic0nduty - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    Great result for the USMNT. Brazil, here we come!

  14. slxc - Sep 11, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Dos a cero, excelente termino God bye mexico..

  15. braxtonrob - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    I am BAFFLED at Beckerman supporters. He was non-existent in this game. I’ve never seen a player spend nearly the entire game running AWAY from the ball!

  16. braxtonrob - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    Also, on the 2nd goal, Dempsey’s presence was key, but I don’t think he touched that ball at all.

    • notaretard - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      watch the replay in slow-mo. it clearly changes direction after passing his foot, meaning there was some contact

      • braxtonrob - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:39 PM

        I think you’re right, upon my 4th and 5th view of it, Dempsey DID redirect it.

  17. jpan007 - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    Tres A Cero next time please

  18. futbol247365 - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    @braxtonrob

    Do you even watch soccer?

    • braxtonrob - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:09 AM

      @futbol, do you even understand ‘space’ and how to run to it?

  19. futbol247365 - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    Yeah I am well aware of it. We didn’t play into it as much as everyone would like and we didn’t always close it down as quick as needed (Gio Dos Santos and a couple of his shots come to mind), but we had a makeshift lineup where the starting 11 have not all played together and we still played well enough to get a decisive win.
    Clever runs were made, nice overlapping on the wings, and a strong one man wrecking crew effort from Jermaine Jones were highlights. Obviously Tim Howard (The best keeper on the US roster, period) and Eddie Johnson were amazing as well. Eddie especially had some nifty footwork and good runs. I think you were too busy looking at Brad Guzan on the bench and not watching the game as a whole.
    And your past comments about Jones not being good enough (Pretty sure it has been you)? Dude he is the starting CM on a perennial champions league side (The only American playing UCL football). Find someone better, please. Grass is always greener homey, but your not finding anyone ready to the job Double J does this cycle.

    • braxtonrob - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      @futbol, There’s a difference between club football and international football. Jones had a good game, doing a lot of the dirty work necessary and his performance maintained what little cohesiveness we had; he had a great game. That being said, overall, it was NOT a great game. Jermaine Jones is good, but not good enough (routinely demonstrated by his inconsistent play and occasional look of being lost). Bradley is world class, and we have to find others to play with him in the midfield (like Diskerud). The only reason J. Jones is getting as big an opportunity as he has is because we have a German coach (who I think is fantastic).
      Brad Guzan WILL be our GK’r come Brazil time, and all you Tim Howard-fanatics will be thanking me for my promotion of him, then.

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