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USMNT wins to preserve bragging rights over Mexico

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A pro-Mexico crowd inside the Alamodome was silenced after Stanford University's Jordan Morris and New England Revolution's Juan Agudelo scored in the 49th and 72nd minutes to lift the Americans to a 2-0 'Dos a Cero' victory over their noisy neighbors.

When the two teams last met a year ago, Toronto FC's Michael Bradley, Real Salt Lake's Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando and LA Galaxy's Omar Gonzalez were in the starting lineup on April 2, 2014 in the 2-2 draw in Glendale, Ariz. A 2-0 lead was cancelled out with two Mexico goals in the second half, a corresponding theme in this year's side, with the Americans routinely falling victim to conceding late goals.

Ahead of Wednesday night's clash, Jurgen Klinsmann's side has shipped eight goals in the 80th minute or later, but the U.S. kept their lead intact and were scarcely threatened.

Another installment of the historic rivalry between the bordering nations, equipped with political and economic overtones in years past, played out in San Antonio, albeit much of the narrative in the buildup to the clash chiefly surrounded the poor state of the pitch, and rightly so.

[RELATED: U.S. Soccer headlines ahead of match vs. Mexico]

Both sides were bogged down with a bobbly and unkempt surface, leaving Jurgen Klinsmann and Miguel Herrera's outfit with limited, half chances in the opening 45 minutes.   

Early, positive pressure from the Americans penned the Mexicans in their own half early on. With Beckerman at the base and Bradley at the point in Klinsmann's 4-4-2 diamond setup, the U.S. midfield remained plucky and resolute throughout, but struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities by the time the halftime whistle blew. 

 

As they emerged from the halftime break, the U.S. were aided with three second-half substitutions. The NASL's lone representative Miguel Ibarra was sent on for Joe Corona, while Greg Garza and Nick Rimando made way for Brek Shea and William Yarbrough.

The immediate changes gave a fresh look to a side that struggled to establish a rhythm in the first half, and the tide turned quickly.

[MORE: Klinsmann names 22-man roster for U.S. vs. Mexico]

In the 49th minute, Morris instinctually latched onto a fortuitous play with one touch and a nice finish all that was needed to slide the ball under the sliding Mexican 'keeper.

Less than a quarter of an hour after notching the eventual game-winner, Morris made way for Agudelo, making his first appearance for the U.S. since a five-minute cameo against Ukraine in March 2014.

The Revolution forward latched onto a superb, floated and trademark delivery from Bradley and with a sublime first touch, tucked away his shot to double the Americans' advantage and see the game through. 

With the victory, the U.S. improved to 15-11-8 against Mexico on home soil and 10-8-2 all-time in Texas venues, all while extending its unbeaten streak against El Tri to six games.

U.S. Starting XI (subs):

(4-4-2): Nick Rimando (William Yarbrough, 46'); DeAndre Yedlin, Omar Gonzalez, Ventura Alvarado, Greg Garza (Brek Shea, 46'); Kyle Beckerman (Perry Kitchen, 63'), Mix Diskerud (Brad Evans, 80'), Joe Corona (Miguel Ibarra, 46'), Michael Bradley (C); Gyasi Zardes, Jordan Morris (Juan Agudelo, 65')