Christian Pulisic Says USA-MEX Draw Could Have Gone Either Way

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The USMNT hasn’t won at El Estadio Azteca in Mexico City since the globe was rebuilding after World War II. Last night presented the best opportunity yet for the USA, and although the overall result was a good thing, you still have to rue opportunities missed. Heading into the match, Captain America Christian Pulisic said that winning at The Azteca would have meant everything.

The Stars and Stripes had to settle for a goalless draw, but given how this was the toughest match on paper, for this international period, you have to take point, get out, and feel good about doing so. The match was much more interesting than 0-0 sounds, and this was a draw that felt like a win. 

“We put ourselves in a position to play on Sunday and win and go to the World Cup,” Pulisic, who missed a prime scoring chance from point blank range in the first half, said afterward.

“But of course I’m disappointed I missed a chance, and I would have loved to have won the game. I think it’s a game that could’ve gone either way. I thought we had the better offensive chances and we had good spells, but a draw is fair.”

The U.S. had the better scoring chances, with Jordan Pefok joining Pulisic in blowing a golden opportunity to score. The Yanks can now clinch a 2022 World Cup berth on Sunday with either a home win over Panama and a Costa Rica loss/draw at El Salvador.

Or they can also punch their ticket with a draw and a Costa Rica loss.

“We wanted to put a team on the field that could win the game in Azteca,” Berhalter said USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter, who openly discussed the possibility of fielding a weakened side, prior to the match.

“That was the most important thing. There’s plenty of time to recover.”

Mexico manager Gerardo “Tata'” Martino, reportedly on the hot seat, seemed to be okay with the final result.

mexico el tri

“We competed well with the United States,” he said.

“Today we seeked to equal the rhythm of the game during the 90 minutes.”

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram

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