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Mexico trump U.S. with Rafael Marquez' late dramatic victor

Mexico trump U.S. with Rafael Marquez' late dramatic victor

Rafael Marquez scored a late header as Mexico earned their first ever victory in Columbus, Ohio with a 2-1 win on Friday.

The U.S. had beaten Mexico four straight times by 2-0 scores in home qualifiers - all at Columbus - and the Americans had been 30-0-2 at home in qualifying since a 3-2 loss to Honduras at Washington's RFK Stadium in September 2001. No one was guarding the far post where Marquez's eventual game-winning goal went near.

Asked whether the win was particularly sweet after the tensions caused by US President-elect Donald Trump's controversial remarks about Mexican illegal immigrants, Marquez said: "Maybe now they have a bad time, a time of intolerance and with this win maybe they can forget now a little bit what happened here in the US".

Miguel Layun put Mexico ahead in the 20th minute, but Bobby Wood tied it in the 49th. "I think we deserved this, and three points puts us in good position", Layun said.

Mexico goalscorer Layun said "El Tri" had been worthy winners. The equaliser triggered a suffocating all-out assault by the hosts, determined to clinch all three points.

The game ended with, you guessed it, more confrontations, when Salcedo was handed a red card for time wasting. "We were focused on this". After a week in which Donald Trump, who's been notorious for his anti-Mexican sentiment, was chosen to be the next president of the U.S., the Mexicans got the last laugh in Columbus.

Unlike the 2014 World Cup qualifying, Mexico is in the driver's seat after Friday's result.

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The United States now face a testing trip to Costa Rica on Tuesday needing to pick themselves up after a shattering loss.

However fans from both sides mingled before kick-off, adamant that politics would not poison the atmosphere.

Play began to get chippy in the 18th minute with a couple hard fouls and Jones kicking a ball at a downed Mexican defender. Action flowed back and forth as the teams took turns pushing the play and in the final moments the oldest player on the field delivered the decisive blow. His 8-yard, left-footed shot deflected off a leg of Layun for his eighth goal in 28 worldwide appearances.

The US were rocked and Mexico nearly doubled their tally five minutes later when Corona's cross was met with a glancing header from Carlos Vela which crashed back off the crossbar.

"We lost him, as simple as that", Klinsmann said of Marquez, adding that it was an "individual mistake".

Each team was forced to make an unanticipated first-half substitution, with Mexican captain Andres Guardado exiting due to injury in the 28th minute, and Howard departing for Brad Guzan in the 40th minute.

The U.S. came out stronger in the second, playing mostly in their standard 4-4-2. Jozy Altidore turned his defender and passed to Wood, who took two touches as he split defenders. They had not reckoned with Marquez, however, who on 89 minutes applied a flawless looping header to a near-post corner from the tireless Layun to secure a 2-1 success.


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