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Bradley's goal leads U.S. past Mexico

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


AP Sports Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Michael Bradley scored twice to lead the United States to a 2-0 victory over Mexico in a World Cup qualifier Wednesday night, preserving the Americans' domination in the series over the last nine years.

On a wet and windy night at Crew Stadium -- under the threat of a tornado watch -- the Americans ran their record to 9-0-2 on U.S. soil against Mexico since 2000. Tickets had sold out in 90 minutes, with many of the 23,776 fans showing up hours before to stand in the rain while waving flags and wearing their national colors.

After both teams played cautiously at the outset, the Americans finally broke through.

DaMarcus Beasley's corner kick found Landon Donovan at the far side of the 6-yard box, with Donovan heading it back into the scrum. Oguchi Onyewu's header was stopped by diving Mexico goaltender Oswaldo Sanchez, but the rebound came right into the path of Bradley, who kicked it in from 6 yards.

"It was a great corner from Beas, and Landon did a great job heading it back," Bradley said. "It was not so hard for me to put it in."

That touched off a wild celebration just a few feet from the red-clad Sam's Army, which danced in the aisles and threw confetti up into the jet stream winds.

Then, in second-half stoppage time, Bradley took a pass from Donovan and his shot from 28 yards dipped under Sanchez's arms.

Mexico captain Rafael Marquez was ejected in the 65th minute when he went high to spike goalkeeper Tim Howard as they went for a loose ball. Howard, who angrily threw the ball down while he flexed his leg, also picked up a yellow card for delay of game on the ensuing free kick.

The loss could mean more trouble for Mexico coach Sven-Goran Eriksson. His team, with just one win in its last seven outings, barely made it into the final round of qualifying. A former manager of England, he had been brought on to stop what many Tricolores fans consider an almost unforgivable sin: losing to the United States. Mexico easily controlled the series for decades, but the U.S. team has now gone 13-7-8 since 1990 to narrow Mexico's advantage to 29-15-11.

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