Prior to Wednesday night, the United States had played 24 matches against Mexico on Mexican soil without a single win. In fact, they had just one draw to show for all of their visits south of the border. But that streak is now old news. The U.S. went to Estadio Azteca on Wednesday and thanks to a goal from Michael Orozco Fiscal and two mind-boggling saves by Tim Howard, the Americans came away 1-0 winners to leave the Mexican crowd stunned.
The first half was all Mexico as they controlled the ball and kept the U.S. on the back foot all half. The Americans had just one real chance, capitalizing on a mistake by Mexico, but the chance went away when Herculez Gomez went to the ground asking the ref for a penalty that was not given.
Otherwise, the match was played almost exclusively in the Americans' third. They defended with numbers as Mexico tried to break them down, but led by Geoff Cameron, who was nothing short of tremendous all night, the U.S. defense held up. A couple corner kicks and a free kick scared the U.S. some, but they couldn't get a clear cut chance.
The second half looked like the first, only Mexico was able to turn the possession into chances. They had the U.S. in trouble and only a terrible miss by Javier Hernandez, a last second clearance by Cameron and some shoddy finishing from Mexico kept the match level.
It looked like the U.S. would hold on for a draw and be grateful, but then three substituties got involved on one of the Americans' rare forays forward. A great run forward by Brek Shea unlocked the Mexican defense before he crossed into a mess of people in the box. Terrence Boyd got to the ball and facing away from goal, blindly backheeled the ball towards goal. It found Orozco Fiscal, who just knocked it over the line and into the empty goal for a tally that maybe wasn't the prettiest, but it was plenty effective as the U.S. went 1-0 up with just 10 minutes remaining.
From that point on, the U.S really had to hold on for dear life and they only did because of Howard. Twice it looked like Mexico would score, but the American goalkeeper bailed the U.S. out. A deflected shot from distance wrong footed Howard and the ball was surely bound for the goal, but there was Howard to lunge at the last minute to save it.
Then only a couple minutes later, Hernandez got free in front and headed the ball right for the corner. Once again, Mexico had a sure goal and one again Howard was there to deny him with a sensational diving save.
That Orozco Fiscal goal and those two Howard saves proved to be the difference for the U.S. who jumped for joy when the final whistle went. They had their first ever win in Mexico and got to have their moment on the field at the Azteca as the Mexican team walked off stunned to the boos and whistle of the crowd.
We'll have live coverage in our Mexico vs. USA, 2012 Friendly StoryStream.