The United States Men’s National Team has officially clinched a berth in the 2014 FIFA World Cup after a 2-0 victory over Mexico at Columbus Crew Stadium.
Some said Columbus wasn’t the proper venue to host the potential history-making match, but the United States had been 3-0 all-time against the Mexican team in the city, and the team and atmosphere both didn’t disappoint tonight. The heat did not deter either group, and the United States ultimately caught fire in the second half to reignite the crowd of 24,584 that had stood behind them through a nerve-wrecking first half.
After a first 45 minutes where the Mexicans seemed destined to score a goal after countless quality opportunities, the Americans would come out of the locker room at full throttle to start the second half.
The first goal would come off a redemption header by Eddie Johnson on a corner kick from Landon Donovan. Finding himself in almost the exact same position as he was in on a first-half header that was saved, Johnson was able to get the ball to the back of the net on his second attempt, shedding first blood for the Americans in the 49th minute.
About 30 minutes later, the Americans would work the ball deep into Mexico territory, looking to put the game out of reach. After two improbable passes across the goalmouth, Landon Donovan managed to get a foot on the ball to send it in despite facing a goal-side defender.
After about an hour or so of waiting, the American team and a few thousand fans stayed at Columbus Crew Stadium to watch the final seconds of the Honduras/Panama match, which ultimately ended in a 2-2 tie, good enough to clinch the Americans their seventh consecutive World Cup berth.
Despite missing key pieces like Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley, the Americans managed to survive a rough first half and continue their streak of qualifying for every World Cup since 1990. See you in Rio.