Playing in the famed Azteca Stadium in Mexico City Wednesday, where they have never lost to the United States,the Mexican national team came from behind to beat their northern rivals.
In a game they needed to win to continue their dream of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, Mexico overcame an early deficit to take a crucial win against the visiting United States , 2-1.
The Americans had never won in 23 tries in Mexico City . But the visitors took a shocking early lead that quieted the capacity crowd of over 100,000 screaming fans when Charlie Davies curled home a shot in just the ninth minute. The goal gave the US their first ever lead at the fabled Azteca Stadium.
Shortly afterwards, Mexican Israel Castro tied the game with a blast from outside the penalty area. American Coach Bob Bradley said the team still felt good about their chances despite losing their early lead.
"We felt good coming in, we felt good with the early goal," Bradley said. "We still felt when the game was one to one that now we could get opportunities down the stretch."
At over 2 kilometers above sea level in Mexico City , the Americans began to look tired as the second half drew on. They held on to the tie, which would have given them a valuable point, until the final minutes. With only six minutes to play, substitute Miguel Sabah was able to knock a loose ball into the American net to send the crowd into a frenzy and secure all three points for the Mexicans.
American midfielder Michael Bradley was unhappy to come away empty handed, but says the Americans expected a difficult match all along.
"I thought for the most part we did a good job of handling the game," Bradley said. "We went up one to zero and maybe we let them back into the game a little too quick."
Mexican Jesus Corona says the team was pleased to get the valuable win over their arch rivals, and relieve some of the pressure on them.
The win puts the Mexicans, who had struggled early in the year-long qualifying tournament, back in the thick of contention for one of the region's three automatic bids to the World Cup, to be played in South Africa next summer. The Mexicans now have nine points in the six team group, just one behind the second place Americans.
Action in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament resumes in September.