Mexico stuns U.S. in World Cup qualifier on Marquez's late winner

USA vs. Mexico
Rafa Marquez’s goal set off a wild celebration for Mexico. (USA TODAY Sports)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – This time, Mexico got a dos of revenge against the United States men’s national team.

After a seemingly unending string of 2-0 losses here, the Mexicans struck back with a match-winner in the waning minutes to stun the jubilant Mapfre Stadium home crowd and send the U.S. into an early hole in World Cup qualifying after a 2-1 El Tri victory on Friday night.

[ USA-Mexico: New hope | Klinsmann’s bad call | Pregame unity | Match tracker ]

The difference was 37-year-old Rafa Marquez’s nifty header past backup goalkeeper Brad Guzan in the 89th minute.

The goal was a shocker, especially after Bobby Wood equalized at 1-1 early in the second half and sent the U.S. supporters into a tizzy. It seemed like Jurgen Klinsmann’s team had all the momentum in the latter stages after a discombobulated first 45. That momentum evaporated with one well-executed corner kick.

Making matters worse for the Americans was the loss of starting goalkeeper Tim Howard in the first half to a groin injury. It’s not immediately clear how serious it is, but his health is one of many questions Klinsmann will be dealing with as his team travels to Costa Rica for its next World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

There is a considerable bright side for the USA in that it played with a breathless and fast-paced vibe from start to finish. Although the Americans were unorganized with a new 3-5-2 formation that failed to get anything going early, they had frequent run-of-play setups. Wood, Jozy Altidore, Jermaine Jones and Christian Pulisic all seemed quite comfortable in their roles, as the U.S. was fun to watch even though the visitors stole all the fun out of the outcome.