Thursday, August 16, 2012
USA halts Mexico despite poor passing
By Paul Carr
Credit: Miguel Tovar/Getty ImagesThe United States won a road game in Mexico for the first time, topping Mexico 1-0 on a Michael Orozco Fiscal goal in the 80th minute. The win ended a 24-game road winless streak against Mexico, a drought that began with a 7-2 loss in 1937.
The United States' Michael Orozco celebrates after scoring during a friendly match against Mexico at Azteca Stadium on Wednesday in Mexico City, Mexico.
Even more notably, the win came at Estadio Azteca, where the USA had been outscored 20-4 in nine previous meetings, posting an 0-8-1 record. Tying it all together, Orozco Fiscal is the third American to score at Azteca in the last 25 years, joining Eddie Lewis in 2005 (lost 2-1) and Charlie Davies in 2009 (1-0 loss).
Mexico’s home domination wasn’t only against the United States. Mexico was 9-0-1 in its previous 10 home games, last losing 1-0 to Paraguay in 2007. Mexico lost at Estadio Azteca for the ninth time in 120 games since the stadium opened in 1966.
Tim Howard played the hero with two late saves, and he actually led the United States with 46 touches in the game. Seven different Mexican players had more touches, led by Andres Guardado with 83.
The United States won despite completing 221 passes to Mexico’s 489, and doing so at a 74.7 percent clip compared to Mexico’s 83.9 percent success rate.
The attacking-third numbers looked even worse for the Americans, who completed 30 passes in the final third all game, compared to 138 for Mexico. Guardado alone matched USA with 30 passes completed into the attacking third.
Here you can see all of Geoff Cameron's clearances on Wednesday, courtesy of Stats & Info's Albert Larcada (note that all seven were in the box): click here.
Klinsmann Continues Streak-Busting Ways
Wednesday's victory on the road against Mexico was not the only streak stopped recently by the United States under Jurgen Klinsmann.
In February of this year, Clint Dempsey scored the game's only goal to give the United States its first-ever win over Italy, ending a 10-game winless streak that began in 1934. It was the 1st time USA got a road point against any of the eight teams that have won the World Cup.
Also, in November of last year, the USA scored three first-half goals en route to a 3-2 win over Slovenia, ending a 7-game road losing streak against European teams going back to 2008.