It was the United States against Mexico. Again.
And it was dos a cero. Again.
Jordan Morris scored the opening goal, then Juan Agudelo added the second as the U.S. beat their rivals, 2-0, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. A sold out crowd of nearly 65,000 packed the stadium and, as always when these two teams meet in a friendly, it was almost entirely Mexico fans. But just as a pro-Mexico crowd is to be expected, so is a result for the U.S. and, rather often, by a 2-0 scoreline.
With the win, the U.S. has now gone 21 matches without a loss on home soil. It's also been more than three years since they lost to Mexico, with Jurgen Klinsmann having now stretched his unbeaten streak against El Tri to six matches.
The pitch at the Alamodome was a complete disaster. It's a miracle that several players weren't hurt by the temporary grass surface, which was patchy, uneven and almost unplayable. That surface made it tough for either team to put much together and in the first half, neither goalkeeper was tested.
Things began to open up in the second half, though, and in the 49th minute the U.S. broke through. Michael Bradley found some space and when the defense stepped to him, it allowed Morris to make a diagonal run in behind the left side of the Mexico defense. A deflected pass found the forward, who buried his shout in the back of his net for his first international goal.
Morris was a controversial choice to start, being a college player at Stanford and not a professional like everyone else. But his speed caused Mexico some problems and his run and finish on his goal looked awfully mature.
Not long after, the U.S. doubled their lead. Agudelo gathered the ball 20 yards from goal on the left, dribbled across to the center and ripped a shot. The goalkeeper got a hand to it, but it wasn't enough to keep the shot out and the chants of "dos a cero" filled the Alamodome.
It was a great goal for Agudelo, who had a lot of problems over the last year. Once the youngest goalscorer in U.S. history, his failure to get a UK work permit left him without a club for nine months. He finally re-joined the New England Revolution earlier this year and this was his return to the national team. To get a goal in it, and against Mexico, was a big moment for the striker.
While the U.S. has had problems closing out matches since the World Cup, that wasn't the case against Mexico. The Americans were comfortable and defended well to see out the match. The centerback pairing of Omar Gonzalez and Ventura Alvarado shined, helping seal up another dos a cero win.
Tradition is a beautiful thing, and dos a cero is as beautiful a tradition as you will find.