Even U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard wanted it to be 2-0

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — This Dos a Cero thing really is uncanny, how the U.S. wins over Mexico on home soil keep landing on the very same score, this “2-0” thing that is approaching something mythical.

The United States trumped Mexico by that very score in the 2002 World Cup, and by that score in World Cup qualifiers (in Columbus, no less) en route to the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups. Now, en route to the 2014 World Cup, too.

“The funny thing is, even at 1-0, I wanted to win, but the greed in me said, “It would be cool if it was 2-0,” just to keep the symmetry, you know,” U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard said late Tuesday. “Listen, every time they schedule a game here [against Mexico], and we know that it’s going to happen, we feel like we are destined to win it. And not that it happens that way all the time, but we feel like it does, and it seems to work out.”

Howard (pictured celebrating late Tuesday) also said that while all qualification clinchers are special, getting the job done against Mexico is real cherry-on-the-sundae stuff.

“We try not to talk about it before the game … but, yeah, as an American player, you are ultimately judged on how you play against Mexico. All the images you have in your head are about U.S.-Mexico. So when it comes to the big games, and this is one of them, you want to play well.”