Landon Donovan (right) scores to give the host United States an insurance goal in its 2-0 World Cup Qualifying win over Mexico on September 10, 2013, at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The United States defeated visiting Mexico 2-0 in a 2014 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, putting it on the brink of a place in Brazil next summer.
With the win, the Americans moved up to first in the CONCACAF Hexagonal table by a single point, surpassing Costa Rica, which drew 1-1 at Jamaica. Both countries can seal qualification if Panama loses or draws against Honduras later in the evening.
For the fourth-consecutive World Cup Qualifying cycle, the U.S. prevailed over Mexico at Crew Stadium by the same 2-0 score. Luis Fernando Tena was at the Mexican helm for the first time after replacing Jose Manuel de la Torre on Saturday.
"They're experienced players, they've played these games before and they know what these games are about," U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said of his team following the encounter. "I told them over the last couple days that I expect their leadership. I expect them to carry us through difficult moments, whatever happens."
Eddie Johnson gave the U.S. a 1-0 in the 49th minute with his 12th career qualifying goal, leaping through the center of the penalty area to head home off a Landon Donovan corner kick. Mexico goalkeeper Jesus Corona rushed off of his line to try an intercept the service, but was too late as Clarence Goodson created an open path for the Seattle Sounders forward.
Donovan clinched the game in the 78th minute. Second-half substitute Mix Diskerud chipped the ball to himself in the right side of the Mexican box, beat a defender and sent a pass on the ground across the face of the goal. An outstretched Clint Dempsey got a piece of the ball, slightly re-directing it for the LA Galaxy star to smash in at the far post from four-yards out.
The home side could have added one more, but Dempsey missed a penalty kick deep into second-half stoppage time after he was fouled in the right side of the area.
The U.S. is aiming to qualify for its seventh straight World Cup and 10th appearance overall, while is looking to avoid missing out on the FIFA event for the first time since 1990.