Sunday, February 8, 2009

US-Mexico countdown: No. 4

4. 2001 World Cup qualifier; Mexico City, July 1, 2001; Mexico 1, US 0

Everything was set up for a historic and monumental upset. Midway through the Hexagonal, the United States sat atop the table with a near-perfect 4-0-1 record. Mexico, meanwhile, had lost two consecutive matches, including an unthinkable and ultimately unpardonable loss in Estadio Azteca, a 2-1 setback to Costa Rica. After a 3-1 loss in Honduras, Mexico's World Cup hopes were on life support, and coach Enrique Meza was out in favor of Javier Aguirre, who initially dropped such Meza stalwarts as Victor Ruiz, Jose Manuel Abundis and Luis Hernandez. One player who had had a mountain of rising support for a national team call-up was Alberto Garcia Aspe, and Aguirre tabbed him along with six players from a Cruz Azul squad who had just finished losing to Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores final. With a makeshift squad and little time to prepare the team, Mexico nevertheless reminded the Americans why they had never won in Mexico City. Garcia Aspe sent a free kick into the penalty area early in the match and Jared Borgetti powered it past a helpless Kasey Keller as Mexico opened the scoring early. The rest of the game saw the Americans run futilely around the field while Mexico regained its confidence and a bit of its swagger, which ultimately helped El Tri surge towards qualification for the 2002 World Cup.


US: Kasey Keller; David Regis, Jeff Agoos, Carlos Llamosa, Steve Cherundolo; Chris Armas, Joe-Max Moore (Cobi Jones, 46), Earnie Stewart, Tony Sanneh; Ante Razov (Chris Klein, 82), Jovan Kirovski (Brian McBride, 61)

Mexico: Oscar Perez; Jesus Arellano (Jose Hernandez, 87), Claudio Suarez, Manuel Vidrio, Melvin Brown; Johan Rodriguez (Victor Gutierrez, 66), Gerardo Torrado, Alberto Garcia Aspe (Octavio Valdez, 74), Tomas Campos; Francisco Palencia, Jared Borgetti

Mexico - Borgetti 15

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Luis Hernandez and Abundis were not exclusively Meza stalwarts,they were regulars in the national team even before Meza.Ruiz and Sergio Macias were Meza exclusives.

Also ,Hernandez did not get completely get dropped by Aguirre as he named him to the WC squad.