USMNT History of "Dos a Cero"

The U.S. Men’s National Team doesn’t have an “official” home venue, but MAPFRE Stadium is arguably the closest thing to it. The U.S. is undefeated in the country’s first soccer-specific stadium, going 8-0-3 all-time and 6-0-2 in World Cup qualifying matches. Specifically, the USMNT has provided ultimate success against arch rival Mexico in Columbus, with each match ending in a 2-0 victory for the Red, White and Blue and the result becoming known as “Dos a Cero.”

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With that being said, let’s take a look at all four “Dos a Cero” wins against Mexico for the Stars and Stripes at MAPFRE Stadium:

Feb. 28, 2001

Not only is this match memorable as the first time the U.S. won at the only soccer-specific stadium in the country at the time, but it was also the inauguration of “Dos a Cero.” It was the first of four 2-0 wins for the Yanks in Columbus over neighboring rival Mexico.

The temperature was below freezing in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, but the stadium was full of roaring fans. The two teams played a scoreless first half and had to use two substitutions. But those subs combined for the game-winning goal that night, and the hero was current Crew SC Assistant Coach Josh Wolff.

He stepped onto the field in the 15th minute for fellow hometown hero Brian McBride. Two minutes into the second half, Clint Mathis won a ball in midfield and sent it into space. Wolff’s lightning speed took Mexico goalkeeper Jorge Campos by surprise and in just a few touches, Wolff secured the first-ever win for the U.S. at MAPFRE Stadium. 

Sept. 3, 2005

Four times the U.S. Men’s National Team has faced Mexico in FIFA World Cup qualification at MAPFRE Stadium. Four times it defeated its southern neighbor with a final score of 2-0. The second of the four “Dos a Ceros” came in 2005.

On that warm fall night in Columbus, a sold-out MAPFRE Stadium featured a crowd of 24,685. The USMNT lineup featured Crew SC legend Brian McBride, Frankie Hejduk and current Columbus Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter — who at the time played for FC Energie Cottbus in Germany.

Both teams struggled in a scoreless first half, but pushed by the raucous Columbus crowd, the U.S. took over early in the second. A swift header by Steve Ralston in the 53rd minute and a DaMarcus Beasley goal off a well-executed corner kick in the 58th secured the USMNT’s fourth consecutive win at MAPFRE Stadium.

With the victory, the United States clinched a spot in the FIFA World Cup for the fifth consecutive time. It was the first time since 1934 that the U.S. became the first CONCACAF team to qualify for a World Cup.

Feb. 11, 2009

The “Dos a Cero” trend between the U.S Men’s National Team and rival Mexico continued at MAPFRE Stadium on February 11, 2009. For the third consecutive time the USMNT defeated Mexico 2-0 in Columbus.

On a wet and windy night in front of a crowd of 23,776 fans, the U.S. dominated Mexico throughout the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier. Mexico used all of its substitutions before the gelling U.S. team made any. The Stars and Stripes took the 2-0 victory behind a brace from Michael Bradley, who had an outstanding night with a goal in each half.

Bradley’s first goal came just minutes before the break when he put away the rebound off a Oguchi Onyewu header from six yards out. In the second minute of stoppage time, Bradley’s second goal breezed past Mexico’s goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez sealing the USMNT’s fifth win at MAPFRE Stadium.

Sept. 10, 2013

Almost one year to the date after the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Jamaica 1-0 in Columbus, the Stars and Stripes returned to MAPFRE Stadium for the fourth installment of “Dos a Cero” against Mexico.

The Yanks stepped onto the pitch on September 10, 2013, only needing a win and a Panama loss or draw to Honduras to officially qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. In front of more than 24,000 supporters, the Red, White and Blue felt positive vibes as the whistle blew for kickoff.

The first 45 was fairly even between the two sides, with the USMNT’s best chance coming in the 32nd minute. A curling corner served up by Landon Donovan found the head of a streaking Eddie Johnson, who powered the ball into the hands of Mexican goalkeeper Jesús Corona.

However, Johnson’s opportunities would not be denied much longer.

Just four minutes after the break, another Landon Donovan corner flew into the box and again found the head of Johnson. The striker powered the ball into the back of the net to give the USA the 1-0 advantage.

The USMNT added a second goal in the 78th, when NYCFC midfielder Mix Diskerud showed great ball control on the right side of the penalty area and slotted a low cross across the face of goal. His ball was met by the foot of a lunging Landon Donovan, who finished it home to give his side a comfortable 2-0 lead.

As the final whistle blew, and it became known that Panama and Honduras had played to a 2-2 draw, the Stars and Stripes had qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The fourth “Dos a Cero” victory for the USMNT created momentum that carried Jurgen Klinsmann’s side all the way to the Round of 16 in Brazil.


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