USA vs. Mexico Moments: 10 Classic International Football Moments

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2015

USA vs. Mexico Moments: 10 Classic International Football Moments

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    VINCENT YU/Associated Press

    The day is here. Mexico and the United States are ready to jump to the Alamodome for the first time since April 2014.

    This rivalry is one of the greatest in world football and by far the most exciting in CONCACAF. Although this is a friendly match, for both sides it is a matter of pride and honor.

    El Tri come with a squad full of youngsters, while the USMNT bring nine footballers who made the 2014 World Cup team.

    Let's take a look at 10 classic moments from this rivalry.

10. 1934 World Cup

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    Associated Press

    This is where everything started.

    The first time these two met in an official match was in the 1934 World Cup qualifiers.

    Mexico defeated Cuba in the second round, showing a lot of security. They played three times, all resulting in wins for El Tri.

    Then they faced the United States. Little did they know that Aldo Donelli would come to the pitch inspired. He netted four times, enough to leave Mexico out of the competition.

9. 1st Win in 47 Years

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    Ray Stubblebine/Associated Press

    Mexico wasn't going through their best moment in 1981, and the United States took advantage of it.

    In that year’s CONCACAF Championship qualification round, El Tri finished with a 1-2-1 record. Their only victory came against the arch-enemy, but they took their revenge.

    In the second leg, the USMNT broke a 47-year winless streak against Mexico. Steve Moyers bagged a brace at Lockhart Stadium, while Hugo Sanchez scored for the away team.

    Ultimately, El Tri couldn't tie the score and left with a 2-1 defeat, the first time they lost to the States since 1934.

    Mexico missed the 1982 World Cup after a dreadful performance in the final stage of the qualifier.

8. 1991 Gold Cup

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    The first edition of the Gold Cup is one of the brightest moments in USA football history.

    The team went to win all their group stage matches, against Costa Rica (3-2), Trinidad and Tobago (2-1) and Guatemala (0-3), securing the first place of Group B and becoming the only unbeaten side in the tournament.

    In the knockout stage, they faced Mexico at the Memorial Coliseum. John Doyle and Peter Vermes scored for the USMNT, enough to qualify to the final showdown and the first "dos a cero" in the rivalry's history.

    It was also El Tri's first loss to the USA in 10 years.

7. 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualifier

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    CHRIS PUTMAN/Associated Press

    The second "dos a cero" chapter is also a key moment of this rivalry because it was the first one at the Columbus Crew Stadium.

    The United States needed to take advantage of playing on home soil, just like Mexico did whenever they faced a squad at the Estadio Azteca.

    So the USMNT decided to take this World Cup qualifier up north, where weather and a loyal fan base could help them turn things around. It worked.

    More than 24,000 fans witnessed El Tri's loss, with goals from Josh Wolff and Earnie Stuart.

6. 2009 Gold Cup Final

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Mexico secured the 2009 Gold Cup by netting five times in the final match, leaving the United States in complete shame.

    It was the first time since 1980 that El Tri put the ball away that many times against the USMNT, as well as the first since 1957 that they trashed their enemy on home soil.

    Back then, Mexico won 2-7 in the Veterans Memorial Stadium; it was a World Cup qualifier match.

5. 2011 Gold Cup Final

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    This was the last time Mexico defeated the USA.

    It's been four years since El Tri overcame a 2-0 advantage at the 2011 Gold Cup final.

    Pablo Barrera, Andres Guardado and Giovani dos Santos helped Mexico put up a fight and secure the title with a 2-4 score.

    Dos Santos' goal was by far the highlight of the match, perhaps even of the tournament.

4. 1st Draw at the Estadio Azteca

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    JOE CAVARETTA/Associated Press

    El Tri had never lost or tied against the United States while playing in Mexico. The streak went on for 53 years.

    But everything comes to an end, and in 1997 the USMNT secured their first draw at the Estadio Azteca, which meant, of course, their first point while playing there.

    The squads were competing in a World Cup qualifier, and the fans were so mad that they started cheering up the USA players.

3. Last Win at the Estadio Azteca

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    Dario Lopez-Mills/Associated Press

    Believe it or not, Mexico haven't defeated the United States at the Estadio Azteca since the 2010 World Cup qualifier.

    Back then, Israel Castro and Miguel Sabah put the ball away to secure three very valuable points in the 2009 Hexagonal.

    But that would be the last time El Tri dominated the USMNT on home soil. They have met two more times in Mexico City with a 1-1-0 record that favors USA.

2. 1st Defeat at the Azteca

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    Eduardo Verdugo/Associated Press

    It was never meant to happen, but it did.

    The United States faced Mexico in a friendly back in August 2012. Like today's match, none of the teams had their A-side since it wasn't a FIFA date.

    Despite it all, the USMNT took advantage of every ball they had. And so, after a corner kick, Mexico-based footballer Michael Orozco sent the ball to the back of the net with a powerful header.

    El Tri tried to avoid the defeat, but they were so desperate that they couldn't accomplish the feat, hence losing to the arch-enemy at the Estadio Azteca for the first time in history.

1. 2002 World Cup Round of 16

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    TONY GUTIERREZ/Associated Press

    This one will hurt any Mexico fan whenever he/she remembers it.

    El Tri thought they had the quarterfinals ticket on their bag as soon as they realized they were facing the United States in the round of 16 of the 2002 World Cup.

    However, Bruce Arena was very clever and pushed his side toward perfection. Mexico were desperate and the USMNT took advantage of it.

    Brian McBride and Landon Donovan crushed El Tri's hopes.


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