Last night served as an historic moment for US soccer as the Americans defeated Mexico 1-0. The victory will be remembered as the first time they defeated El Tri on Mexican turf in 75 years.
With many of the USMNT veterans absent from the roster, ‘keeper Tim Howard was called upon to lead the youthful side into the hostile territory known as Estadio Azteca.
Howard delivered with a performance for the ages, twice making desperation saves on Mexican starlet Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in the dying minutes of the match. The Manchester United ace had chances to draw his side even in the 85th and 89th minutes, but both times Howard was able to get a hand on the shot and keep the ball out of the net.
After the victory that ended the Americans 75 year drought in Mexico, Howard spoke about his side’s performance and his ability to “embrace the fear.”
“That fear everyone was feeling and no one wants to talk about: embrace it. That’s what happens in big games when your belly gets light. It’s fear. You can shrivel up or you can accept it. It was a great performance, ” explained the delirious Howard after the match.
He added: “Look, we had the monkey on our back: You come here and you can’t win. So there was always a little bit of a down when you get here. But now we’ve gotten the win. We should feel good about that and hopefully we’ll have confidence going into it next time.”
The Yanks will hope to carry their momentum into World Cup qualifying, where they will surely return to Estadio Azteca for another showdown with their southern neighbors.