• Thursday Apr 03, 2014

    U.S., Mexico battle to 2-2 draw in friendly

    Michael Bradley of the United States and Mexico's Isaac Brizuela (right) battle for the ball during their international friendly on April 2, 2014, in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo: Mexsport)

     

    GLENDALE, Arizona -- Mexico rallied from a two-goal halftime deficit to register a 2-2 draw with the archrival United States in an international friendly on Wednesday in front of 59,066 fans at the University of Phoenix Stadium. 

    Captain Rafael Marquez and Alan Pulido scored in the second half for the Mexicans after Mike Bradley and Chris Wondolowski struck for the Americans before 30 minutes had elapsed.

    Due to the match taking place on a non-official FIFA date, both teams’ rosters were dominated by players from their respective domestic leagues.

    The host drew first blood in the 15th minute.

    Graham Zusi, whose goal in the USA's 3-2 qualifying win at Panama gave the Tricolor a lifeline to reach Brazil, sent his corner to the far right post.  Bradley beat his man, Jesus Zavala, and the midfielder knocked the ball home off a bounce from point-blank range for a 1-0 lead. It was the Toronto FC midfielder’s 12th international goal and fourth against Mexico.

    Wondolowski staked his claim for a seat on the plane to Brazil with a goal in the 28th minute.  After shaking off defender Rogelio Chavez, the San Jose Earthquakes striker netted near the left post from five-yards out off a headed flick from Bradley.

    Mexico came out stronger in the second half and Marquez halved the deficit in the 49th minute with his 15th career international goal.  The Leon defender managed to work himself free before heading in a Marco Fabian corner kick from seven yards past goalkeeper Nick Rimando.  The goal snapped Mexico’s 393-minute scoreless streak against the Americans.

    Marquez nearly equalized four minutes later when Rimando was forced to parry another header over the crossbar.

    In the 60th minute, Miguel Ponce drilled a shot that the Real Salt Lake netminder tipped over the net for a corner kick.

    Rimando was called on again in the 61st minute, diving to deny second-half substitute Raul Jimenez's attempt.

    Mexico, however, leveled the score in the 67th minute.  Second-half sub Paul Aguilar rammed a 15-yard shot off the left post and Pulido slotted in the rebound to make it 2-2.  Pulido now has four goals in only three international matches. 

    Second-half sub Eddie Johnson thought he had scored the game-winning goal for the U.S. in the 85th minute, but he was whistled for being offside.

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