Klinsmann's Historic Win
|Chicharito vies with Geoff Cameron. Photo: Getty|
Jurgen Klinsmann walked away with a historic victory today, leading the US Men's National Team to their first-ever win at Estadio Azteca. Despite the heavily-biased refereeing, the team managed to eke out a win. Klinsmann was able to motivate the team to play as a whole. Even though Mexico dominated the pitch more often than not, the US did not look like they were giving in at any point during the game. USA forward Herculez Gomez, who plays in the Liga Mexicana, had a great attempt early on, but he was held back by a player from the Mexican team inside the box. The referee gave a corner instead of a penalty. Maurice Edu got a questionable yellow for a challenge on Chicharito on the 14th minute. The resulting free kick ricocheted off the US wall once again, proving that the fort is indeed solid. Mexico defender Jorge Torres Nilo's shot from about 30 meters out went wind of the left post. Mexico's attempts increased in intensity as the first half went on. The US attempted to counter, and were very solid defensively. Nevertheless, both teams remained scoreless.
Guardado started off the second half for Mexico, but the ball went high.
Santos Laguna midfielder Edgar Lugo got the perfect cross, but his header was way off-target and he missed a very easy attempt. Chicharito, who finally got a shot on goal, was prevented from scoring by the always talented Tim Howard. All too soon, Chicharito missed another golden opportunity; he had a problem reaching crosses throughout the second half. Whenever he did fulfill his shot, the defense reminded him that it wasn't easy scoring against Klinsmann's USA. Herculez Gomez tested Memo Ochoa, who, unlike Tim Howard, did not have much work to do today. Kyle Beckerman's shot ricocheted off a player lying on the pitch and ended up posing a threat to the net and going over the top of the crossbar. Memo Ochoa was there just in case and toppled over into his own net as the ball safely glided above. This was by far the USA's closest attempt, though it wasn't the way the team intended it to be. As Mexico continued to dominate, midfielder Beasely was great on the defense, and Geoff Cameron got many props from fans for his game. Both teams seemed to be letting their emotions get in the way of finishing. De Nigris made a great pass from the right flank, but none of his Mexican teammates were running toward the ball. Something quite magical happened in the last ten minutes of the match. Klinsmann's team appeared to have had an epiphany - an awakening of sorts. Right after Brek Shea came on for Gomez, he led the attack on the left flank and got the ball to Terence Boyd. Boyd did an excellent back-heel flick (a la Eduard Streltsov) and Michael Orozco netted the ball in from close range. Chicharito wasn't finished, however. He had two last attempts at saving the game for Mexico. Howard took both shots - the ricochet and the last-minute header.
The match as a whole was the epitome of going to the doctor's office for the first time in years - you're afraid of that needle until that very last second, and when you finally go through with the shot, it doesn't hurt as much as you thought it would. Neither did this victory.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 8PM (EST)
Mexico vs. United States - 0:1 (0:0)
Arena: Estadio Azteca (Mexico City, Mexico)
0:1 Michael Orozco (Asst. Terence Boyd) ('80)