September 10, 2013
By Charles Cuttone
THIS IS OUR HOUSE
USA owns Mexico in Columbus
COLUMBUS, Ohio---The fans said it first, chanting “This is Our House.” The players on the U.S. National Team seconded it with their emphatic 2-0 win, and U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann confirmed it after the game.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Columbus Crew Stadium provides a psychological lift to the United States National Team. That lift on Tuesday propelled the U.S. to a 2-0 win over Mexico, the fourth straight time in qualifying that same scoreline has held between the two teams at the erector set stadium that the late Lamar Hunt conceived and built with his own money.
“The crowd was unbelievable - a really, really amazing crowd. It kind of pushed these guys,” said Klinsmann, who will be going back to the World Cup for the second time as a coach, after guiding Germany when they hosted in 2002.
Landon Donovan had a goal and assisted on Eddie Johnson’s 49th minute game-winner. But maybe the game was won even earlier than that.
“I think the players when they know they are playing in Columbus, they have 100% support behind them,” said Klinsmann. “It gives them energy, it gives them confidence. And the other thing is your opponent, that hasn’t won here, for quite a while, knows it’s a difficult situation as well.”
Mexico has never won in Columbus. All four World Cup qualifiers that have been played at Crew Stadium have ended in 2-0 scores in favor of the U.S., which also won in 2001, 2005 and 2009.
Klinsmann says that has to be wearing on El Tri.
“It is a psychological game at the end of the day, and I think you could feel it in the body language of the Mexican players once they didn’t get a goal. They tried really hard for the first 20 -25 minutes. They got heavier and heavier. You could see that psychological load in their minds, that they started doubting themselves. There is a psychological element in playing here in Columbus and it’s definitely in our favor.”
It certainly was Tuesday night.