The Norman Transcript

National Sports

September 11, 2013

U.S. clinches World Cup berth

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The United States clinched its seventh straight World Cup appearance, beating Mexico 2-0 Tuesday night on second-half goals by Eddie Johnson and Landon Donovan before a raucous red-white-and-blue-clad crowd that stood and chanted from start to finish.

After withstanding Mexican pressure for the first 20 minutes, the U.S. settled in the match and got the breakthrough in the 49th minute when Johnson outjumped defender Diego Reyes to meet Donovan’s corner kick 8 yards out and head the ball past frozen goalkeeper Jesus Corona.

With Mexican shifting to an offense-minded 3-4-3 formation, the U.S. scored in the 78th following a throw in when Mix Diskerud threaded the ball across the middle. Clint Dempsey got the slightest of touches as he slid into the goalmouth, and Donovan poked the ball in from 2 yards.

The U.S. (5-2-1) moved into first place in the North and Central American and Caribbean finals with 16 points, one ahead of Costa Rica (4-1-3), which was held to a 1-1 tie at last-place Jamaica and also clinched.

The top three teams qualify, and the U.S. had to wait an hour after the final whistle to learn it was assured of a spot in the 32-nation field for Brazil next June. But when Honduras (3-3-2) held on for a 2-2 tie against Panama (1-2-5) in Tegucigalpa, the Americans had grabbed a berth with two games to spare.

Mexico (1-2-5) dropped into fifth on goal difference and seems likely at best headed to a playoff against Oceania champion New Zealand.

U.S. players, many carrying large American flags on sticks, celebrated their win with a lap around the field, saluting the crowd the whole way. Then they went to the locker room to wait out the Honduras game. About 1,000 fans stuck around to watch on the videoboard, chanting for Honduras.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Popovich wins Coach of the Year

    The San Antonio Spurs, the model for stability and sustained success in the modern NBA, were still a shaken team when they showed up for training camp in October, less than four months after a devastating loss to Miami in the NBA Finals. ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Tony Allen’s hounding defense a challenge, even for Durant

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant is tired of hearing about Tony Allen’s defense....

    April 23, 2014

  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career

    WASHINGTON — Albert Pujols reached 500 homers in a hurry....

    April 23, 2014

  • Lawmakers seek change in MLB Cuban player policy

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Two Florida lawmakers motivated by Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig’s dangerous escape from Cuba are trying to change the way Major League Baseball treats Cuban players and are willing to tie state money for ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Physical stars ruffling Ducks’ feathers

    DALLAS — Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf was asked about the Dallas Stars trying to get under his skin or into his head with their physical play in Game 3. “Trying to hit my head how about?” the already stitched-up and visor-protected ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Pacers need statement game to stay afloat in series with Hawks

    INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s next game is the most important of the season. If the top-seeded Pacers can’t protect their home court Tuesday night, they’ll be down 2-0 heading to Atlanta — where they have only won twice since December 2006....

    April 22, 2014

  • Dwyane Wade looks like his old self, again

    MIAMI — Dwyane Wade is not planning on missing any more games this season, and that means life on the Miami Heat equipment room staff is going to get considerably more demanding....

    April 22, 2014

  • American wins first Boston Marathon after bombing

    BOSTON — “The Star-Spangled Banner” played over Boylston Street in honor of an American winner of the Boston Marathon....

    April 22, 2014

  • St. Louis falls again

    NEW YORK — Jenrry Mejia pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning, David Wright delivered another key hit and the New York Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 Monday night....

    April 22, 2014

  • Portland’s Aldridge primed for Game 2

    HOUSTON — A day after etching his name in Portland’s record books with a franchise playoff-record 46 points in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series against Houston, LaMarcus Aldridge was already looking forward....

    April 22, 2014