Mar­quez’s late goal breaks tie, and Amer­i­cans’ streak

Mex­ico wins first qual­i­fier in United States since 1972; Amer­i­can goalie in­jured

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Mitch Stacy

COLUM­BUS, OHIO — Rafa Mar­quez scored a tiebreak­ing goal on a header in the 89th minute, giv­ing Mex­ico a 2-1 win Fri­day night and its first vic­tory at the United States in World Cup qual­i­fy­ing since 1972.

Miguel Layun put Mex­ico ahead in the 20th minute in the opener of the fi­nal round of qual­i­fy­ing in North and Cen­tral Amer­ica and the Caribbean, but Bobby Wood tied the score in the 49th.

The United States dom­i­nated the sec­ond half be­fore the 37-year-old Mar­quez, un­marked and drift­ing across the penalty area at the near post, got the back of his head on Layun’s cor­ner kick. The Mex­i­can cap­tain lifted the ball over goal­keeper Brad Guzan for his 17th in­ter­na­tional goal.

“It gets a sense of anger in us. It gets a sense of ab­so­lutely ur­gency,” U.S. coach Jur­gen Klins­mann said. “It’s not a prob­lem, but it’s ob­vi­ously dis­ap­point­ing.”

The United States had beaten Mex­ico four straight times by 2-0 scores in home qual­i­fiers — all at Colum­bus — and the Amer­i­cans had been 30-0-2 at home in qual­i­fy­ing since a 3-2 loss to Hon­duras at Wash­ing­ton’s RFK Sta­dium in Septem­ber 2001.

Mex­ico’s pre­vi­ous win in the coun­try in qual­i­fy­ing was also by a 2-1 score, at Los An­ge­les.

“I think we deserved this match,” Layun said. “We were fo­cused.”

Klins­mann said John Brooks was sup­posed to mark Mar­quez on the cor­ner kick.

“We lost him there. In­di­vid­ual mis­take,” Klins­mann said.

Guzan had lost the U.S. goal­keeper job to Tim Howard, who started at the last two World Cups. But Howard in­jured his right leg on a goal kick and was re­placed in the 40th minute.

The Amer­i­cans play Tues­day at Costa Rica. Mex­ico hosts Panama.

With the United States strug­gling early in a 3-5-2 formation, Mex­ico could have led 3-0. Howard tipped Je­sus Corona’s 10th-minute shot off a post, and Car­los Vela’s 25th-minute header hit a cross­bar.

Af­ter switch­ing to a more fa­mil­iar 4-4-2 formation in the 27th minute, the Amer­i­cans be­gan to find their rhythm, and Wood­scored off a pass from Jozy Alti­dore.

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