US and Mex­ico form ‘unity wall’ be­fore match

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

THE UNITED States and Mex­ico na­tional teams made a pointed state­ment prior to kick­off in their World Cup qual­i­fy­ing clash on Fri­day night.

In­stead of pos­ing for sep­a­rate team pho­to­graphs, as per con­ven­tion, the two sets of play­ers came to­gether and mixed to form what many have in­ter­preted as a ‘unity wall’.

The ges­ture fol­lows the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump as the 45th Pres­i­dent of the United States ear­lier this week.

Dur­ing his di­vi­sive elec­tion cam­paign, Trump in­fa­mously pledged to build a wall along the two coun­tries’ shared bor­der to curb im­mi­gra­tion from Mex­ico to the US.

The Pres­i­dent-elect also promised to make Mex­ico pay for the erec­tion of the wall and la­belled Mex­i­can mi­grants as “rapists” and “mur­der­ers”.

Trump’s rise to promi­nence in US pol­i­tics has strained the coun­try’s re­la­tions with Mex­ico, but there was lit­tle ev­i­dence of an­i­mos­ity be­tween the two ri­vals at the Mapfre Sta­dium in Colum­bus.

The only flash­point came in the fi­nal mo­ments of the World Cup qual­i­fier, which ended in a late 2-1 win for Juan Car­los Oso­rio’s Mex­ico, came when tem­pers flared be­tween the US’ Chris­tian Pulisic and Mex­ico’s Car­los Sal­cedo.

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