Monday, January 16, 2017

FIFA World Cup Qualifying Preview: United States v Mexico

SoccerNews in World Cup 8 Sep 2013

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Mexico start life after Jose Manuel de la Torre when they visit the United States in a crucial FIFA World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

De La Torre was sacked following Mexico’s shock 2-1 home defeat to Honduras on Friday, a result that left the Central American outfit in fourth place in the CONCACAF qualifying section for Brazil 2014.

Luis Fernando Tena will take charge for the clash with Jurgen Klinsmann’s side, who will be out to bounce back after being knocked off the top of the pool with a 3-1 loss to Costa Rica.

Clint Dempsey scored a first-half penalty for the US in San Jose on Friday, but the hosts seized the initiative in the group thanks to goals from Jhonny Acosta, Celso Borges and Joel Campbell.

And Klinsmann will have to try and inspire his players to respond to this disappointment without a number of his key players.

Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron are all suspended, while Roma midfielder Michael Bradley also misses out after picking up an ankle injury while warming-up for the game against Costa Rica.

Still, the US – who reached the last 16 of the World Cup in 2010 – will be confident of taking maximum points in Columbus, with Mexico winless in the last three meetings between the teams.

However, their last encounter ended goalless back in March, and with both sides having conceded just 10 goals between them in the final round of qualifying, a tight encounter should be expected.

The home fans will likely look to captain Dempsey to try and break down Mexico’s stern defence – the Seattle Sounders midfielder has eight goals in qualification so far – and he will be expected to deliver the goods again in the absence of Sunderland striker Altidore.

Meanwhile, Javier Hernandez will be the focal point of the Mexico attack, with the Manchester United man looking to add to his tally of five goals.

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