It may have been an exhibition game. And it may not be officially taken into account when the stats are all tallied up. But for the United States’ national soccer team, Wednesday night meant everything. It was the one they’d been waiting for their entire lives. It was this night, on August 15, 2012, that the United States beat its regional rival, Mexico at Aztec Stadium.
“The goal was for the U.S. fans and the whole U.S. We made history,” said Orozco Fiscal, a United States defender whose parents are both from Mexico. That goal he’s talking about is the only one that was made the entire game. And it was the one he made in the 80th minute of play, after an extremely hard-fought game.
Before he so deftly put that ball in the net, the U.S. had gone 0-23-1 against Mexico over the course of the 75 years. After Mexico had outshot the States 15 — 6 and were up 10 — nill in corner kicks, it looked like they’d soon be 0 for 24.
Klinsmann, who took over the coaching position from Bradley last year, said that he was of course thrilled that his team had made history, and finally beat their rivals Mexico. But, there’s much work to do before the World Cup, and he’s hoping that this win gives his team what they need for the big win.
“We know we have to improve in many, many elements,” Klinsmann said after the game. “We have to keep the ball longer. We have to create more chances. We have to do a lot of work still. But I think this gives us a lot of confidence.”
And while that might be true, it was the chance that Fiscal made when he kicked that shot in last night that truly made all the difference.