Miguel Layun has ensured there will be no Cero for Mexico in this World Cup qualifier, as El Tri leads the USMNT 1-0 after 45 minutes at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
And it certainly could’ve been worse for the U.S.
The match is the first of the Hex, the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying for Russia 2018.
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Jurgen Klinsmann opened the match in a 3-5-2, and it did not work well at all.
A moment of promise in the fourth minute, as Christian Pulisic led a charge up the middle of the pitch before leaving the ball for Bobby Wood. Unfortunately, Fabian Johnson popped an attempted cross over goal.
The other end saw a neat bit of work from Miguel Layun on Mexico’s left flank end with Javier Hernandez turning the ball wide of Tim Howard‘s right post.
Tim Howard made a fingertip save that saw Jesus Corona’s 10th minute shot hit the far post, and Jozy Altidore then drew a yellow card on Diego Reyes off the counter.
John Brooks picked up the Yanks first yellow card when he chopped down Hernandez in the 15th minute.
The Yanks finally got an effort on Alfredo Talavera in the 20th minute, but Jozy Altidore didn’t get enough power on his header of Fabian Johnson’s long cross and it stayed 0-0.
The goal came at the other end moments later, as Layun’s shot changed direction off Timmy Chandler to skip of a diving Howard’s gloves and into the goal.
Bobby Wood earned the U.S. a corner minutes later, and Altidore looked set to make it 1-1 until a Mexican intervention inside the six.
Mexico headed a ball off the crossbar through Vela, who outjumped Matt Besler in the center of the pitch only to see his offering bomb off the underside of the bar.
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Timmy Chandler earned a free kick for the United States on the right side in the 33rd minute. Michael Bradley lorded over the offering from 30-plus yards, and Altidore nodded it back into the mix before Pulisic bungled his chance to make it 1-1.
Jones came close to picking up a second yellow as Mexico won a central free kick about 30 yards out, but Giovani dos Santos fired over the goal.
Howard had to come out of the game with a groin injury, and Jurgen Klinsmann used his first sub to bring Brad Guzan into the game in the 40th minute.
Chandler picked up a yellow in the 45th minute.
USMNT: Howard (Guzan, 40′); Besler, Brooks, Gonzalez, Chandler, Jones, Bradley, Johnson, Pulisic, Wood, Altidore.
Subs: Guzan, Yarbrough, Yedlin, Gordon, Johannsson, Bedoya, Orozco, Birnbaum, Kljestan, Green, Zusi, Gooch.
Mexico: Talavera, Reyes, Marquez, Moreno, Layun, Guardado, Herrera, G. Dos Santos, J. Corona, Vela, Hernandez.