The USA recorded a memorable win in Cincinnati, beating a more experienced Mexico team by two goals to nil.
The game being a World Cup qualifier added to the intensity as USA leapfrogged Mexico in the standings and put themselves in a good position to make the tournament.
Neither team was able to break the deadlock in the first half, though strikers from both countries had chances. Mexico retained more possession but USA forwards Ricardo Pepi and Timothy Weah found gaps in the defense at times.
The second half started off in an expectedly fiery fashion with both teams committing fouls and racking up the yellow cards. Mexican defender Chaka Rodriguez was fortunate to stay on the pitch after appearing to grab Brenden Aaronsens face and eyes amidst pushing and shoving from the players.
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Shortly after, Greg Berhalter decided to introduce captain Christian Pulisic. Pulisic, who is often regarded as the best American player in the world, proved to be the difference yet again. Five minutes after being introduced, Pulisic met a cross from Weah with his head and broke the stalemate.
The goal turned up the heat even further, and while Mexico threatened to equalize, the US were the ones to grab that decisive second goal. With 15 minutes to go, a deflection saw Weston McKennie one on one with Mexican keeper Guillermo Ochoa, and McKennie slid it into the corner easily.
American defender Miles Robinson was given a second yellow card in the 89th minute for a foul on Chucky Lozano, but 10-man USA hung on for the win. Chants of “dos a cero” rang out after the final whistle, referring to the storied scoreline in USA’s biggest rivalry game.