Sunday evening at the Estadio Azteca, Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe came on for the U.S. Men's National Team for the final 26 minutes of a gutsy 1-1 draw against Mexico in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
It was only the third time in USMNT history that the Americans earned a result at Azteca in qualifying and keeps them even on points with Costa Rica with eight though just behind them on goal differntial in third place in the hexagonal standings. The top three teams will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia with the fourth place team facing Asia's fifth place team in a playoff for a final spot.
The U.S. jumped out to a dream start when midfielder Michael Bradley stole the ball just inside the Mexico half, spied goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa off his line and chipped a goal from some 40 yards out to give the Americans a 1-0 lead. Mexico's Carlos Vela equalized in the 23rd minute and though continued to attack, could not find another goal. Both teams hit the woodwork late in the second half with Bradley nearly scoring a game-winner.
Nagbe, who played in all three matches–one friendly, two qualifiers–while away on international duty (two starts), came on for Paul Arriola in the 64th mintue to help close out the draw and head back home with a valuable point.