U.S. Men Make A Big Point At Azteca

Michael Bradley scored the lone goal for the United States. Photo: U.S. Soccer

It was a point well earned by the U.S. Men’s National Team Sunday night, which came away with a 1-1 draw against rival Mexico.

Playing before a hostile crowd at the legendary Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, the United States used a strong defensive effort, led by Geoff Cameron, to limit the number of goal-scoring chances by the Mexicans.

With the draw, the U.S. sits in third place with eight points in the Hexagonal, further strengthening the team’s position at qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The result on the road in Mexico follows the team’s 2-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday in Colorado.

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While pleased with the draw, U.S. head coach Bruce Arena would have liked more.

“The players have responded well,” he said during his postgame press conference. “I’m proud of this team. It’s not easy in the Hex to get points on the road but we were in a position to get three points. I’m proud of the result, but I’m a little greedy and would have liked three points. We were close tonight.”

While the U.S. defense was the story of the night, team captain Michael Bradley provided a memorable moment that won’t soon before forgotten.

With the teams still working to find their respective rhythms, the U.S. pressed Mexico at midfield, which lead to a turnover. Bradley anticipated a pass from Javier Hernandez and gained possession. A quick peek at the Mexican goal by Bradley found Guillermo Ochoa well off his line. Bradley’s shot in the 6th minute from about 40 yards out evaded Ochoa and found the back of the net

The U.S. would nearly take a 2-0 lead as Bobby Wood flubbed an opportunity inside Mexico’s penalty box. That miss just seconds later would result in a counterattack that was started to Ochoa and ended with a 23rd minute goal by Carlos Vela.

While Mexico had more of the possession throughout the second half, both teams saw scoring chances rattle off the posts, one for El Tri from a set piece and one from the Americans from Bradley.