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Mexico stunned the United States 3-2 to qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup here on Saturday as a spectacular extra-time winner from Paul Aguilar settled a five-goal thriller at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. Mexico defender Aguilar lashed in a superb volley in the 118th minute to spark euphoric scenes at the iconic venue in front of 93,723 fans.
Mexico book Confederations Cup ticket after 2-3 win over USA
10/11/2015
 
Mexico will be part of the 2017 Confederations Cup

Mexico stunned the United States 3-2 to qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup here on Saturday as a spectacular extra-time winner from Paul Aguilar settled a five-goal thriller at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.


Mexico defender Aguilar lashed in a superb volley in the 118th minute to spark euphoric scenes at the iconic venue in front of 93,723 fans.


Aguilar's goal sends Mexico to Russia as CONCACAF's representatives in the World Cup warm-up tournament in 2017 and piles pressure on US coach Jurgen Klinsmann who has faced criticism for a string of recent flops.


Klinsmann's men looked to have done enough to take the game to penalties, twice coming from behind to level the score on a night of high drama that saw three goals in extra-time after the match finished 1-1 after 90 minutes.


Oribe Peralta looked to have settled the game with a 96th-minute strike that put Mexico 2-1 up on the night, ramming home Aguilar's low cross.


But the United States snatched an equalizer out of nowhere in the 108th minute when Bobby Wood sprinted onto DeAndre Yedlin's through ball to slip a cool finish beneath Moises Munoz to make it 2-2.


The extra-time drama followed a fractious 90 minutes where Mexico were unable to convert their territorial and technical superiority into goals.


Bayer Leverkusen striker Javier Hernandez fired Mexico into the lead after only 10 minutes as the visitors carved open the American defense with a superb piece of passing football.


A sublime backheeled flick from Benfica's Raul Jimenez released Peralta into space down the right flank and the Club America forward's low cross was met by Hernandez with a nice finish.


But Klinsmann's men responded strongly to the early setback, swiftly marching back up the field to level within five minutes.


Skipper Michael Bradley was the architect, his pinpoint inswinging freekick from wide on the left picking out unmarked Stoke City defender Geoff Cameron who thumped his header past Munoz.


The early goals lit the touchpaper for a feisty opening spell, with Aguilar earning a booking for a brutal challenge on Jermaine Jones that saw Klinsmann leap off the bench in anger in the 21st minute.


Tempers boiled over in the 34th minute when Peralta flew in as Brad Guzan gathered a loose ball, triggering a prolonged melee in the US goalmouth.


Peralta was shown yellow for his role in the altercation. The US created the better of the chances thereafter, Jozy Altidore scooping a shot over the bar from close range on 40 minutes before Bradley forced a scrambled Munoz save from a freekick shortly before half-time.


Yet the momentum built by the US evaporated in the second half, with Mexico's superior technicians spending long periods camped in American territory, readily taking advantage of a US tendency to surrender possession cheaply.


Mexico struggled to break down a packed US defense for the remainder of the 90 minutes however setting up 30 minutes of extra-time.

Source: Rob Woollard AFP
 
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