The United States has a combined 0-23-1 record when facing Mexico in Mexico and it was on this day in soccer history in 1997 that the Red, White and Blue secured the lone point in their 0-0 draw at Azteca Stadium. That was the case until August 15, 2012 when the U.S. defeated Mexico 1-0 in a friendly at Azteca Stadium. But before that win the one draw was huge.
The result had the feeling of a win as the U.S. was without four starters and played the majority of the match with 10-men and with the lone point they took another big step towards qualifying for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France.
''This was a great result for us,'' said Steve Sampson, the American coach said ''We consider this a golden point.''
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Sampson said prior to the match that even a narrow loss in the match would be acceptable as the U.S. was hopeful of maintaining a favorable goal differential over El Salvador and Costa Rica as the qualifying campaign for France came to a conclusion.
The U.S. was without injured regulars Kasey Keller, midfielder Tab Ramos and forward Ernie Stewart while Claudio Reyna was serving a game suspension after picking up a second yellow card on the campaign.
The U.S. was better prepared for the high altitude than in previous visits to Estadio Azteca having trained at a ski resort 6,800 feet above sea level outside of LA and having a minimum of smog after it rained in the capital the day before the match.
And the preparations were needed after Jeff Agoos picked up a red card for elbowing Mexico's Pavel Pardo near midfield. The U.S. went from a very defensive 4-5-1 formation to a 4-5-0 formation hoping for the point.
The match was evenly played prior to the red card and the U.S. created their best chance a minute after Agoos left the pitch when a Thomas Dooley shot hit off the post. But in the second half the game had more the field of a half field game with Brad Friedel and Co. turning back all chances of El Tri Colores to take a point from Azteca.
1972 – Darío Silva, Uruguayan footballer
1982 – Charles Itandje, French footballer
2005 – Ferruccio Valcareggi, Italian football player and coach (b. 1919)