It wasn’t easy, but the USA found a way to beat Mexico in a soccer friendly.
Jordan Morris and Juan Agudelo each scored a goal in the second half as the USA beat Mexico, 2-0, according to SB Nation. The talk of the match, however, was the terrible playing conditions of the pitch at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The shoddy-looking field had players slipping and sliding when they didn’t necessarily want to. Many times, players would try to drive the ball somewhere, but the ball would inexplicably slow to a crawl while the player overran it.
To be fair, both teams were having difficulty with the pitch, and there are many pitches during CONCACAF play that are worse. It was a good test for both teams to fight through.
The first half provided little to cheer for by either side, though Mexico seemed to find a way to solve the pitch, constantly beating the USA team towards the goal, but without result. Halftime came just in time for the USA. The break gave them some time to work on solving the pitch.
The first breakthrough goal came on the 49th minute. After two Mexico substitutions, midfielder Michael Bradley sent a ball toward one of the substitutes, Gyasi Zardes. Instead of going over, though, it bounced off Zardes, leaving it free. Jordan Morris ran to the loose ball, collected it, and deftly fired a pass past the Mexico goalie to give the USA a 1-0 lead.
According toBleacher Report, the next goal came in the 72nd minute off the foot of striker Juan Agudelo. Mexico had tried to take advantage of Perry Kitchen, an injury substitute for Kyle Beckerman. The Mexico team didn’t count on USA replacement Agudelo, who had just come in to replace the goal-scoring Morris. Agudelo pushed forward, beat one defender and watched as another slipped, which gave him an open shot at goal. Agudelo struck a brilliant shot past an outstretched Mexico goalie to make the score 2-0, or as the USA fans like to say, Dos A Cero.
Though it was an exhibition friendly, it was a huge shot in the arm for the USA soccer team. This match marks just the third win in the last 10 matches for the USA. It also marked a strong effort for the USA, which had recently looked less like a World Cup team. The victory should boost the USA in future matches.
[Image courtesy of USA Today.]