The overwhelming roar of 24,584 fans screaming “dos a cero,” was the only audible thing in Crew Stadium at the end of the U.S. men’s national soccer team’s 2-0 victory over Mexico in a 2014 World Cup Qualifying match. The win, coupled with a tie between Honduras and Panama, officially qualifies the men for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and it is the team’s fourth straight win over Mexico in Columbus since 2001.
Before the match even began, fans of both teams were jumping up and down and yelling chants of support for their teams. The smell of beer, fireworks and body odor lingered in the air throughout the match.
The U.S. beat Mexico by the same score in the last World Cup qualifying match played in Columbus in 2009.
Not even five minutes into the second half, U.S. forward Landon Donovan took a corner kick and placed it perfectly into the box for teammate and fellow forward Eddie Johnson, who scored the game’s first goal, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
“This is awesome!,” said Tom Shutt, who attended his first match of international play Tuesday. “We missed the game here last year and we weren’t going to miss it again this year.”
Last year, the U.S. team played Jamaica in Columbus and won 1-0 in a 2014 World Cup qualifying match.
Almost exactly 30 minutes later, the U.S. recorded a second goal, giving the team a 2-0 cushion with 12 minutes remaining. Donovan scored from almost point-blank after receiving a pass from the right side of the box from midfielder Mix Diskerud. The fans went wild.
“It’s overwhelming,” said David Wintman from New York. “I’ve been to other sporting events before, but the energy here — it’s insane!”
The U.S. had a chance to make it a 3-0 victory in extra time when forward Clint Dempsey was tripped up in the box by a Mexico defender. Dempsey missed the penalty kick and not even a minute later the referee blew his whistle to end the match.
“It was very exciting!” said Asia Tonti, an OSU graduate student attending the game. “Everyone was very supportive of the team during a much needed victory. I am very proud of the way Columbus looks tonight.”