The competitive CONCACAF hexagonal carries on as United States drew Mexico 0-0 at the Azteca getting only their second point all time. There was some controversy in the game as the Mexico had two penalty claims rejected. The first call was when Michael Bradley appeared to push Javier Hernandez in the box off the ball. The second came when Javier Aquino was tackled from behind by Edu. Edu may have gotten the ball (and it was deemed so as a corner was given), but it seemed a clumsy tackle from behind that warranted a penalty.
All-in-all, the US defended well and rode some of its luck as Hernandez missed two chances he usually finishes, but I think the game was more about how poor Mexico played. Andres Guardado faded in the second half and Giovani dos Santos barely had an impact. Looking forward to June, the hexagonal is very tight, but the US should be quite happy with 4 points from 3 of the harder games in the round.
Here are my player ratings.
He was flawless in this game making a number of good saves. He had a couple of shaky clearances, but showed he is ready for the big time.
He struggled early on with dos Santos and the overlapping Torres Nilo, but grew into the game and even did a great job keeping Guardado quiet in the second half.
He was superb making interventions at the right time and marshaling the defense. His passing was also solid. He did not put a foot wrong the entire game.
Along with Gonzalez, he cut out a number of passes and did a great job playing the foil to Gonzalez. He had some shaky moments early including a misjudged high ball, but by the end he was on par with Gonzalez.
He was probably more courageous than good, but the results speak for themselves. Despite picking up a yellow card early, he defended Aquino well including a number of tackles with Aquino running at him.
He did well defensively, but was caught twice on the ball in the second half and in general, his passing game was limited and more often made passes backwards than forwards.
He was man-marked most of the game and therefore could not have his normal influence on the game. Despite that, he did a great job keeping possession.
He had few forays into attack, but he made some incredible defensive runs including clearing a dangerous chance late in the game.
It was a fairly poor game by Dempsey standards. He struggled to get possession, but was often crowded out on the ball. He still did good work defensively.
He made a number of good runs forward, but more importantly did his defensive work before being taken off after 70 minutes.
He was quiet and did not get much service, but did have a good setup for a chance for Bradley that needed some last ditch defending.
I actually did not like this substitution as his hold-up play was worse than Altidore’s, but he was active defensively.
He was neutral until he gave away a foolish foul late in the game. I feel Kljestan might have been a better option.
He came on late and did not get many touches on the ball.