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U.S. Beats Mexico 2-0, Advances

Here comes yet another upstart at the World Cup — the United States. Even President Bush has noticed.

Brian McBride and Landon Donovan scored on counterattacks to lead the Americans to a 2-0 upset of Mexico on Monday and into the quarterfinals.

It is the best showing for the U.S. team since the first World Cup in 1930, when it beat Belgium and Paraguay in the first round, then lost to Argentina 6-1 in the semifinals.

``It's a great day for U.S. soccer,'' coach Bruce Arena said.

``Our guys left everything they had out there, and I am proud of them.''

The United States next plays on Friday against Germany, which easily pushed around the Americans during a 2-0 victory at the 1998 World Cup, when the U.S. team finished last in the 32-nation field.

It was a shattering loss for Mexico, which dominated its North American neighbor on the soccer field until recent years.

``We played very good football, but in football, you win by scoring goals and we didn't score any,'' Mexican forward Jared Borgetti said. ``The United States has a very good team, very fast with a very dangerous counterattack.''

While Mexico held the ball for much of the game, it couldn't get the ball past goalkeeper Brad Friedel, who had another brilliant game for his first World Cup shutout.

McBride connected from 12 yards out in the eighth minute off a pass from Josh Wolff after a fine run upfield by U.S. captain Claudio Reyna.

With the Mexicans maintaining the ball nearly 70 percent of the time and pressing for the tying goal, Donovan scored in the 65th minute on a header from just inside the 6-yard box off a cross from Eddie Lewis, who had sped upfield.

The Americans, playing on just two days' rest, bounced back from Friday's 3-1 loss to Poland, their final first-round game. They advanced to the second round only because South Korea upset Portugal 1-0, allowing the United States to finish second in its group.

These Americans are far different from U.S. teams of the past, in talent and temperament. They proved it from the start of the World Cup when they shocked Portugal 3-2 for the first of many upsets at the tournament.

Powerhouses Argentina, Portugal and defending champion France already have been eliminated, while upstarts such as the United States, Senegal and co-hosts South Korea and Japan are still alive.

While the Mexicans usually have the home-field advantage, even in the United States where Mexican-Americans dominate the stands, there were several thousand U.S. fans at Jeonju World Cup Stadium, a half-world from home. Many of them taunted Mexico with chants of ``Adios, amigos.''

The first goal was the work of Reyna, who made a long run up the right side of the field — faking out a defender along the way — and Wolff, who was near the goal and flicked the ball back to a wide-open McBride.

Goalkeeper Oscar Perez had virtually no chance on McBride's hard drive into the left side of the net, his second goal of the tournament.

He became the first American to score twice in one World Cup since Bert Patenaude had four goals in 1930.

Friedel, meanwhile, made a pair of point-blank saves on Cuauhtemoc Blanco in the 35th minute. Ramon Morales had an open net to shoot at from the middle in the 15th minute, but hooked the shot just wide. Morales left in the 28th minute after hurting his right leg on a tackle by John O'Brien.

The other good U.S. chance of the first half came in the 37th minute, when Donovan flicked a pass to Wolff, whose shot was stopped by a diving Perez.

Donovan's goal, which seemed to break the spirit of the Mexicans, also was his second of the tournament. The game got scrappy, and Mexican captain Rafael Marquez was ejected in the 88th minute for banging his head into Cobi Jones. There were 10 yellow cards, five for each team.

Bush telephoned U.S. coach Bruce Arena about 4 1/2 hours before kickoff for a pregame pep talk, and the players listened on a speaker phone.

``The country is really proud of the team,'' Bush said. ``A lot of people that don't know anything about soccer, like me, are all excited and pulling for you.''

Earlier, Bush and Mexico President Vicente Fox wished each other luck.

Mexico, in the first World Cup meeting between the neighboring nations, controlled the ball for most of the first half and pressed at the start of the second, with Friedel knocking Braulio Luna's tough angled shot off the crossbar and over. Mexico had four corner kicks in one three-minute span.

The United States shook up its lineup for the game, inserting four new starters and switching to a three-man defensive line.

Gregg Berhalter, Pablo Mastroeni, Eddie Lewis and Wolff joined the starting lineup, with Berhalter making his World Cup debut. Wolff, who scored against Mexico in the opener of last year's final round of qualifying, had played just nine minutes in the previous three games and Lewis had played 16.

Left back Frankie Hejduk was suspended for getting two yellow cards and central defender Jeff Agoos was hurt in Friday's 3-1 loss to Poland. Arena also benched Clint Mathis and Earnie Stewart.

Stewart came on as a second-half sub for his 10th World Cup appearance, a record for American players.