The US National Arena Soccer Team had the Mexican National Futbol Rapido Team in their sights for almost 55 minutes, but three late goals gave Mexico a deceptively lopsided 7-2 win before a sold out CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho Saturday night.
USA’s Boris Pardo was by far the busier goalkeeper of the game, and kept his team in the game with a half dozen improbable saves. The one play he’d like to have back, however, was a turnover in his own end that allowed Rene Flores to give Mexico a 1-0 lead.
In the second quarter a US defender fell down allowing Ismael Rojo a clear path to find Christian Gutierrez to give Mexico a 2-0 lead that held up until halftime.
The Americans finally got on the board 10 seconds into the second half when Raul Sarabia’s pass was blocked by Drew Ruggles and caromed to Landon Donovan who spun and deposited the ball into the vacated Mexico goal.
The momentum was short-lived because Daniel Villela scored on his own rebound to put Mexico up 3-1 less than a minute after Donovan’s goal.
With less than five minutes left in the quarter Israel Sesay scored off a centering Travis Pittman ricochet to get the US within one again at 3-2.
In the last minute of the third Sarabia sent a long ball into the corner that bounced over Flores’s head right to Edgar Gonzalez who one-timed it past Pardo to put Mexico up 4-2.
The backbreaker came on Flores’s second of the night at 9:20 of the fourth quarter. Mexico added two more empty net goals against sixth attacker Sesay for the final margin.
These two teams will square off again on August 24 at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
Mexico, Flores (UA) 1-0
Mexico, Gutierrez (I. Rojo) 2-0
US, Donovan (Ruggles) 2-1
Mexico, Villela (UA) 3-1
US, Sesay (Pittman) 3-2
Mexico, Gonzalez (Sarabia) 4-2
Mexico, Flores (I. Rojo) 5-2
Mexico, M. Rojo (Villela) 6-2
Mexico, I. Rojo (Villela) 7-2