USMNT - Road to World Cup - Qatar

USMNT celebrates 'good performance' in 0-0 draw vs. Mexico

Lizzy Becherano
Gregg Berhalter hails his side for the 0-0 draw vs. Mexico at the Estadio Azteca.
Gregg Berhalter hails his side for the 0-0 draw vs. Mexico at the Estadio Azteca. / John Dorton/ISI Photos/GettyImages

The United States men’s national team escaped the daunting Estadio Azteca with a point after managing a 0-0 draw in a World Cup qualifier against Mexico on Thursday night. 

Christian Pulisic led the attack for the American side, forcing goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa into several monumental saves before Gio Reyna and Theoson Siebatcheu took over to attempt the victory. The point maintained second place on the Concacaf table with 22 points in 12 matches.

Though the USMNT could not become the first nation of the qualifiers to defeat Mexico at the Azteca, head coach Gregg Berhalter still celebrated the performance. 

“The group is jazzed up, they’re psyched. It was a good performance. We wanted to be the first team to beat Mexico at the Azteca and we fell a little bit short but the mood’s not down, it’s the opposite," he said.

"We know we’re going home, we know we’re playing in front of a great crowd in Orlando [against Panama] and we’re excited about that. The spirits are up; I can’t say enough about the effort of the guys, to expend that much energy at altitude like that was phenomenal." 

Chelsea attacker Pulisic echoed the coach’s thoughts. 

“I thought we had the bigger chances in the game; they did have control for big spurts in the game, but I think it’s a game that could have gone either way. I’d say a draw is pretty fair,” he said.

“We’ve put ourselves in a position to play on Sunday and win and go to the World Cup. So if you told us that before, I think we wouldn’t be too angry about that. Of course I’m disappointed, I missed a chance. I would love to have won the game, but this is the situation we’re in now and we’re happy.”

The United States will return home to host Panama at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida on Saturday before traveling to Costa Rica to close the March qualifiers. 

Should the American side defeat Panama and Costa Rica lose against El Salvador, the USMNT would qualify directly into the World Cup. If the US loses one of two remaining matches, the team can secure a fourth place spot on the table by goal difference.