Team USA earns 1-1 draw at Mexico

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[June 12, 2017]  The Sports Xchange

The United States and Mexican national men's soccer teams played to a 1-1 draw Sunday night in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

Michael Bradley gave the United States an early lead with a sixth-minute goal, but Carlos Vela replied for Mexico in the 23rd minute.

Mexico remains unbeaten in the "Hexagonal," the final round of CONCACAF qualifying, with a 4-0-2 record and 14 points. The USA matched Costa Rica with eight points for the No. 2 spot. The Americans are 2-2-2 with four qualifying matches remaining.

Mexico is now 40-2-8 in qualifying matches at home, including 3-0-1 at Estadio Azteca in the Hexagonal.

The U.S. team has never won a World Cup qualifier at Mexico, and it has led for only 21 minutes in nine such matches at Estadio Azteca. It led for 17 minutes on Sunday before Mexico answered.

The Americans are 1-7-3 in 11 matches at Estadio Azteca with the lone win coming in a friendly in 2012. This was the second straight draw between the teams in Mexico City. Team USA tied Mexico 0-0 in 2013.

Bradley scored from 40 yards out on the attack. The ball went high above goaltender Guillermo Ochoa, who leaped high but couldn't make the save.

Sixteen minutes later, Vela took an assist from Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and eluded Bradley in the right side of the box and put a left-footed shot past goaltender Brad Guzan.

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Both Mexican striker Chicharito and Bradley sustained what appeared to be serious calf injuries, but each returned to playing after stretchers were brought on to the field.

Team USA had another shot on target a minute after Vela's goal for Mexico, but forward Bobby Wood's left-footed attempt from the center of the box was saved at the center of the goal by Ochoa.

Both teams had second-half shots go off the goalpost -- including one attempt by Bradley -- but neither could get another shot on target in the defensive match.

Mexico had 10 shots while United States had seven. Mexico couldn't convert on nine corner kicks. The U.S. team had seven in the match that was played mostly in a steady rainfall.

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