MEXICO CITY - A late strike from substitute Miguel Sabah gave Mexico a 2-1 victory over the United States in their World Cup qualifier on Wednesday. The win boosts Mexico's hopes of making the top three in the CONCACAF qualification group and with it an automatic place in next year's finals in South Africa. After a second-string U.S. side was crushed 5-0 by Mexico at Giants Stadium in the final of the Gold Cup in July, the Americans again found their backs to the wall, the tone set with sections of the capacity 105,000 crowd whistling and boo-ing during the U.S. national anthem. Home fans were stunned into silence in the ninth minute, however, after Landon Donovan split the defence with a neat pass to allow Charlie Davies to curl the ball past Mexico keeper Guillermo Ochoa. Having never won a match or even held a lead at the stadium in 19 previous meetings, the visitors also appeared suprised by the goal, with several forwards looking to the linesman before celebrating. The lead proved fleeting, however, as just eleven minutes later Mexico drew level in spectacular fashion through Israel Castro, who found space to unleash a thundering drive from 25 metres that cannoned into the top corner of Tim Howard's goal. The U.S. looked capable of holding on for a point until Efrain Juarez burst down the right into the area and the ball broke free to Sabah, who had only been on the field four minutes, to blast home the winner in the 83rd minute.
13 August 2009
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