Brazil Bound: U.S. downs Mexico to clinch World Cup berth

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Updated: September 10, 2013

Columbus, OH (Sports Network) – The United States will be heading to Brazil
next summer after clinching a berth in the World Cup with a 2-0 win over
Mexico on Tuesday in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

The result, combined with a 2-2 draw between Honduras and Panama on Tuesday,
puts the U.S. in the World Cup for the seventh successive time, while Mexico
finds itself in a precarious position with two games remaining in CONCACAF
qualifying as El Tri sits in a tie for fourth place.

Eddie Johnson broke a scoreless deadlock with a header in the 49th minute for
the Americans before Landon Donovan doubled the advantage 12 minutes from
time, extending the team’s home unbeaten streak in qualifying to 26 matches.

Mexico came out strong in the opening 15 minutes, but the Americans were able
to survive the early pressure with some good work from goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Johnson had the best chance for the U.S. in the first half with a strong
header that was hit a bit too close to Mexico goalkeeper Jose Corona, but the
Seattle Sounders forward had more success shortly after the break.

Donovan’s 49th-minute corner kick was driven to the front of goal, and Corona
got caught up in traffic, allowing Johnson to rise above his defender and head
the ball into the net.

The Mexicans appeared to run out of ideas as the second half wore on, and
substitute Mix Diskerud came off the bench to set up the second goal with a
nice piece of skill to elude his defender before squaring the ball to Donovan
for a simple finish.

Clint Dempsey could have added another goal deep into stoppage time, but after
drawing a foul inside the penalty area he fired his penalty kick wide.

The U.S. will be joined in Brazil by Costa Rica, which also clinched a World
Cup berth on Tuesday after a 1-1 draw at Jamaica combined with Mexico’s
defeat.

Honduras was on the verge of taking a big step toward qualification, but
Panama equalized in stoppage time through Gabriel Torres, leaving the team
just three points clear in third place with two games to play.