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17 June 2002, 17:12 Seoul - Tokyo

Mexico 0 : 2 USA

Despite persistent Mexican pressure, the USA beat their continental rivals 2-0 in Jeonju, Korea, to move into a quarter-final match-up with Germany. It was a cool performance by the Americans, who struck well on the counter-attack and killed off the match through Landon Donovan's header in the second half.

An early goal from Brian McBride set the tone, and goalkeeper Brad Friedel was again a key man for the Americans. Mexico have now been knocked out in the second round of the last three FIFA World Cups™.

A long free kick from Cuauhtemoc Blanco right at the start of the half had U.S. ‘keeper Brad Friedel feeling uncomfortable (2’). The Mexicans kept up most of the pressure in the early moments of the match.

But a great run from U.S. captain Claudio Reyna down the right flank led to the first goal of the match. A good cross from Reyna, and a brilliant touch back from Josh Wolff opened up space for a blistering strike just inside the far post from center forward Brian McBride (0:1, 8’).

The Mexicans retained most of the pressure before and after the goal, and Ramon Morales stretched Friedel well with a ferocious shot after a fine bit of ball work (16’). The U.S. spent most of the opening 30 minutes sitting behind the ball while the Mexicans dominated possession.

Again the Mexicans nearly hit back as Blanco fired a wicked shot from 25 yards that had Friedel scrambling to clean up the danger. The Blackburn Rovers ‘keeper gave up a rebound on the tricky strike, but it was cleaned up well by an alert U.S back line (26’).

After the U.S. made a real hash of a clearance, Friedel punched the ball straight to Blanco, but the ‘keeper made amends as he kept the strike out well (36’).

And the U.S. again went close as a flick on from Landon Donovan picked out Wolff alone in front of goal. The striker’s loaded shot was only just kept out by Mexican ‘keeper Oscar Perez (37’).

Mexico hit out with pace early in the second half, hunting desperately for a goal as a Jesus Arellano shot from a tough angle nearly caught Friedel cold (48’).

A fierce free kick from Braulio Luna at the corner of the U.S. box had Friedel scrambling just minutes later to push it off the crossbar and out for a corner (52’).

All of the early pressure and possession belonged to Mexico, as they put the U.S. defence up against it in the early running. But despite Mexican dominance, the U.S. still looked dangerous on the break, as Claudio Reyna fired a good shot from the edge of the box (57’).

A foul on the edge of the box led to a dangerous free kick for the Mexicans. Luna just barely hit the ball over Friedel’s crossbar as Mexico continued to heap on the pressure.

But against the run of play, the U.S. grabbed another goal. A great run and cross from Fulham’s Eddie Lewis found Donovan darting in at the far post, and the youngster coolly put his header past Perez (0:2, 65’).

The U.S. nearly extended the lead to three just minutes later as John O’Brien fired a rising rocket inches over Perez’ crossbar (69’).

Mexico threw everything forward in the last 20 minutes. Salvador Carmona tested Friedel with a driven shot from just outside the box (73’). But it wasn’t meant to be, as the U.S. kept their neighbors out in a tense clash between two old rivals.


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