USA 2, Mexico 0

Last night in Columbus, The United States opened their final round of World Cup Qualifying with a 2-0 victory over bitter rival, Mexico.

The US ran their record to 9-0-2 against the Mexicans on US soil this decade.  Michael Bradley netted both goals, one in each half.

Mexican captain, Raphael Marquez, was sent off in the second half for a vicious challenge on American keeper, Tim Howard.I actually missed the challenge during the run of play, I thought he’d just fouled him on the 50-50 ball.  Luckily, the referee caught the spikes out challenge.  The play looked similar to Marquez’s horrible foul on Cobi Jones in the World Cup in 2002.

Marquez has a little history of making stupid plays in big situations.  I can’t figure out why a guy would put his team in such a hole like that, especially when they’ve been in pretty poor form recently.  It was just dumb.

There were several bright spots for the Americans.  Michael Bradley, obviously, with his two goals, stands out.  The first was a rebound/garbage goal off a corner kick and the second was a 30 strike that skipped under the arms of Oswaldo Sanchez.  It should’ve been stopped, but I’m not complaining.

Oguchi Onyewu continued his history of strong play against Mexico and Tim Howard made several key stops, including one early in the game that kind of set the tone.

A couple players were a little off their game, but no one stuck out as having an exceptionally poor effort.  Clint Dempsey wasn’t his normal flashy self and never really created space for himself.  Landon Donovan was enigmatic at times as he’s been prone to be throughout his career and Jozy Altidore just looked lost during his short stint on the field.

For the first game of the final round of qualifying against rival Mexico, I’m very happy.  You can’t argue with a win, especially when it comes against the second best team in the group.

The Americans second match comes on March 28th against El Salvador.  Tim Howard will be missing in that one because of yellow card accumulation, but midfielder Pablo Mastroeni will be back from his suspension for that one.

Enjoy the highlights in Spanish.

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