5. Gold Cup '93, Mexico City; July 25, 1993; Mexico 4, US 0
That whole thing about Estadio Azteca and the Americans' supposed fear of the place... this is where it all began. Sure, the United States had played in Mexico before this game but this match featured many players who would go on to play prominent roles in the 1994 World Cup and beyond, and they were reduced to rubbish one hot summer afternoon in El Coloso de Santa Ursula. Mexico and the United States had reached the Gold Cup final. The Americans, though, did so in the comforts of home, having played their entire slate of games at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Thus, the United States was unprepared on two levels; physically the team never did adjust to the altitude and smog and mentally the 100,000-plus crowd and environment were a stark contrast to the 14,000 or so that turned out to watch the US win a semifinal game agaisnt Costa Rica. It's still uncertain whether Mexico performed a zapateado or jarabe but whatever it was the Mexicans danced all over the US. Nacho Ambriz scored in the 11th minute while Desmond Armstrong knocked in an own goal some 20 minutes later to give Mexico a 2-0 edge. Two goals in a 10-minute span in the second half sealed the victory for Mexico.
United States: Meola, Kooiman, Doyle, Armstrong, Lalas, Dooley, Wegerle, (Moore 78), Harkes, Jones (Kinnear 52), Henderson, Wynalda.
Mexico: Campos, Hernández, Ramírez Perales, Suárez, Ramírez, Mora (Cantu 76), Ambriz, Del Olmo, Rodríguez, Salvador (Noriega 76), "Zaguinho" Alves.
Mexico - Ambriz 11
Mexico - Own goal 31
Mexico - Zague 69
Mexico - Cantu 79
Highlights are below. If you want to get a sense of what it was like for the US on the field that day, read this story Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union Tribune wrote to preview the last US-Mexico game in Azteca, a 2005 qualifier.