USA to face Mexico in World Cup qualifier

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:50 IST

The USA Soccer team arrived on Friday afternoon to Mexico City to begin preparations for their World Cup qualifying match against hosts Mexico.

USA to face Mexico in World Cup qualifier
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City:

The USA Soccer team arrived on Friday afternoon to Mexico City to begin preparations for their World Cup qualifying match against hosts Mexico. Mexico has never lost to USA at home since 1934. In addition to the home field advantage at Estadio Azteca and it's 110,000 fans provide the local team, Mexico's players are more accustomed to playing at the altitude of 2195 m above sea level of the capital. Strong match Mexico has only lost one CONCACAF qualifier at home in its history: to Costa Rica in 2001. In their most recent matches, Mexico has not scored a goal against the US team while the USA enters Sunday's match with a 16 game unbeaten run since a defeat at the hands of the Netherlands in February, 2004. Both squads look strong going into Sunday's game. A win at this city's hallowed Azteca Stadium during a World Cup qualifier on Sunday would perhaps prove the United States has overtaken Mexico to become top dog in soccer's North, Central American and Caribbean Region. High-voltage encounter The USA team will be facing a home side with revenge on its mind. Mexican soccer fans say they are still physically pained by memories of the most-stunning of the recent losses to the United States, a 2-0 upset during the 2002 World Cup in South Korea. "I think that more than a "revenge" as people has called it, we have to support team Mexico so we can win since we are here in Mexico," said Alexandra Ramirez, Mexican Fan. The atmosphere in the stands is likely to be venomous. In the country's second-largest city, Guadalajara, fans chanted "Osama!" "Osama!" a reference to Osama Bin Laden during Mexico's 4-0 blanking of the United States in an Olympic qualifier featuring under-23 players in February 2004. Team Mexico did last minute changes to its tactical layout in their last training session before Sunday's match and will hope the momentum will remain with them a€" but USA's consistently improving form should not be underestimated. (AP)

Topics : Football Bayern Munchen
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