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USMNT vs Mexico final score? Dos a Cero, via super-sub Pulisic

Joe Prince-Wright, Andy Edwards and Nick Mendola aren't sleeping on Jamaica, as the Reggae Boyz enter their clash against the U.S. men's national team as a growing force in CONCACAF.

Dos a Cero (clap-clap-clapclapclap)!

Dos a Cero (clap-clap-clapclapclap)!

Dos a Cero (clap-clap-clapclapclap)!

The United States men’s national team beat Mexico 2-0 in massive Friday night World Cup qualifier in Cincinnati, Ohio, finishing with 10 men in giving Gregg Berhalter status as the first USMNT coach to beat Mexico in three consecutive meaningful matches.

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Christian Pulisic scored five minutes after subbing into the scoreless match off an assist from Man of the Match winner Timothy Weah, and Weston McKennie put the finishing touches on the memorable score line.

Miles Robinson picked up his second yellow card late as the Yanks finished with 10 men, and he’ll join yellow-acquiring McKennie in missing Tuesday’s qualifier in Jamaica.

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The U.S. moves ahead of Mexico on goal differential with 14 points through seven qualifiers. Better yet, the Yanks now hold a three-point lead on fourth-place Panama and an eight-point hold on fifth.

USMNT vs Mexico final score, stats

Final score: United States 2, Mexico 0

Scorers: Pulisic (74'), McKennie (85')

Shot attempts: USMNT, 18-8

Shots on goal: USMNT, 5-4

Possession: Mexico, 51%

Three things we learned from USMNT vs Mexico

1. Come the hour, come the man men: Christian Pulisic may only have had 21 minutes in him, but the Chelsea star only needed five to make Mexico remember how much it hated his production in the CONCACAF Nations League Final. Pulisic’s well-timed run to head Timothy Weah’s cross past Memo Ochoa was the stuff of (program) legends (in the making) and the megastar gave Gregg Berhalter status as the first USMNT manager to beat Mexico in three consecutive meaningful fixtures. And while Pulisic is a star, McKennie was a difference maker, too. The Juve man was all over the pitch. Even captain Tyler Adams, who was well below his standards in the first 45 minutes, was a huge part off the Americans putting their stamp on the rivalry over the final 45. Throw in Steffen, and the Yanks’ big names came to play.

2. CONCACAF’s VAR embarrassment becomes humiliation: Head referee Ivan Barton came to Cincinnati ready to allow anything but carnage, and the lack of Video Assistant Referee is the only reason that El Tri didn’t have to play the final 20 minutes down a man after Luis Rodriguez straddled a prone Brenden Aaronson and then raked his fingers into the Salzburg man’s eyes. It was right in front of Barton, and we’ll have to take his word that he somehow missed the foul because VAR isn’t yet in CONCACAF due to a flawed use of logic and an even more ridiculous application of funds. CONCACAF has not allowed VAR because not all of the member nations in this round of World Cup qualifying have the technology, and the confederation didn’t think it necessary to, I don’t know, purchase some cameras and a truck for the most important event it has on the books. Cool story.

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3. Steffen, Mexico’s finishers leave it 0-0: How different might this match have been if Zack Steffen didn’t make two key first-half stops... and if Mexico could put their shots in better places? But the game can be about fine margins and Steffen kept the Yanks in the match. That, too, is a big misleading in that the U.S. was very good for much of the first half. It just made some glaring errors that demanded either recovery or bailing out. When it was the latter, Steffen was there.

Man of the Match: Timothy Weah

The Lille man was an absolute force at right wing and the idea of him flopping to the left for Pulisic sure is a lot of fun. McKennie, Steffen, and Walker Zimmerman were also influential for the USMNT, and Yunus Musah was a delight.

USMNT vs Mexico recap

The United States pressed hard to start, and Timothy Weah swept in a promising cross instead of using the overlapping run of DeAndre Yedlin. Ricardo Pepi’s bid to redirect the ball toward goal was just off, and Mexico was relieved.

Weah then tried to catch Memo Ochoa off guard with a low drive from 25 yards, and Antonee Robinson soon won a free kick from 10 yards outside the 18.

Then a terrible giveaway from Tyler Adams led to Mexico’s first real danger. Walker Zimmerman stymied Raul Jimenez’s initial danger and Zack Steffen was soon called upon to save Edson Alvarez. An ensuing corner kick was cleared by Weston McKennie.

More U.S. pressure saw Hirving Lozano sprung toward the box, and Antonee Robinson kept him close enough to limit the danger to a still dangerous shot that Steffen did well to save with an outstretched left glove.

A Musah giveaway and Zimmerman slip helped Lozano cue up Corona at the back post, but Tecatito’s first-touch hit scuttered wide of Steffen’s left post.

Musah’s feast or famine first half hit feast with a good dribble and fortunate bounce in the six that ended with a tempting pass absent receiver.

The Yanks again took hold of the match until the 42nd minute, when Lozano won a free kick off Antonee Robinson but the U.S. dealt with it well.

The U.S. had two penalty shouts for Pepi and Aaronson before the break but there’s no VAR in CONCACAF.

A lot of what the U.S. did well came through Weah and that did not change in the second half. The Lille man set up McKennie for a drive right at Ochoa. That led to consecutive corner kicks and the second saw Musah hit the back post ball wide of the frame.

It continued to be all about the U.S., and Weah hammered a shot that deflected onto the path of Pepi for a flubbed shot over the goal from close range.

Then came Pulisic. And two goals in a short period of time.

Follow @NicholasMendola