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Coach Klinsmann hails 'historic' first U.S. win in Mexico

updated 8:01 AM EDT, Thu August 16, 2012
Michael Orozco Fiscal celebrates his late winner for the U.S. against Mexico on Wednesday.
Michael Orozco Fiscal celebrates his late winner for the U.S. against Mexico on Wednesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The U.S. earn historic first win in Mexico thanks to Michael Orozco Fiscal's late goal
  • Argentina beat Germany 3-1 in Frankfurt as Lionel Messi scores and misses a penalty
  • Louis van Gaal's first game of his second spell as Dutch coach ends in defeat
  • England beat Italy 2-1 in Switzerland while Spain win 2-1 against Puerto Rico

(CNN) -- After 75 long years, the United States' national soccer team can finally celebrate a victory across its southern borders.

The U.S. had drawn one and lost 23 of 24 previous matches in Mexico, but Michael Orozco Fiscal's late goal in Wednesday's friendly international was enough for a landmark success over the newly-crowned Olympic champions.

Orozco Fiscal, who plays for Mexican club San Luis, netted from close range in the 80th minute to inflict just the ninth defeat for Mexico in 120 games at the Azteca Stadium.

Mexico beat the U.S. 4-2 in last year's Gold Cup final in Pasadena, after which former Germany international Klinsmann replaced Bob Bradley as coach.

"I think it's huge," head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told U.S. Soccer's official website. "It's huge for all American fans and it's huge for the team. It's historic.

"We were well aware that we've never won here at Azteca and this is an amazing experience for all the players. We told them before the game, 'This moment is for you, go and grab it.' "

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The Americans' triumph owed much to the performance of goalkeeper Tim Howard, who produced a string of saves, including an impressive late denial of striker Javier Hernandez.

"It's a wonderful moment because winning a game against a very good Mexican team that we have a lot of respect for at the Azteca Stadium, that means a lot to us," added Klinsmann.

"That was very difficult for us and Tim Howard made some unbelievable saves, and I've said it many times over the last few years that he belongs to the top three goalkeepers in the world and he showed that tonight."

Defeat for Mexico comes off the back of an impressive run at the Olympic tournament, where the under-23 team upset the odds to defeat Brazil 2-1 in the London 2012 final on Saturday. None of the players involved played in Wednesday's Mexico City game.

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"I think it's important for us to understand that we can compete with big teams at their stadiums," said Klinsmann, whose team recorded a historic first win in Italy earlier this year and next face two World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica in September.

"It's like when you play Wembley in England or Stade de France or in Berlin. Those are special occasions. I want the players to appreciate that. I want the players to take it all in because you never know when you'll have another occasion like that.

"That's what we told the players: You have nothing to lose here. Give it all you have. Can we play better? Yes. Can we play technically cleaner? Yes."

Elsewhere, Argentina registered a 3-1 win away to Euro 2012 semifinalists Germany with Lionel Messi scoring after missing a penalty in the Frankfurt contest.

Euro 2012 sparked into life when striker Robert Lewandowski scored the first goal of the tournament against Greece. Despite a lively opening, the co-hosts had to settle for a 1-1 draw. Euro 2012 sparked into life when striker Robert Lewandowski scored the first goal of the tournament against Greece. Despite a lively opening, the co-hosts had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
Euro 2012 highlights
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Pele (top) leaps on his teammates during Brazil's 4-1 victory over Italy in the 1970 World Cup final. The Brazil team of that tournament, which clinched a third World Cup triumph, is often heralded as one of the finest in football history. Pele (top) leaps on his teammates during Brazil's 4-1 victory over Italy in the 1970 World Cup final. The Brazil team of that tournament, which clinched a third World Cup triumph, is often heralded as one of the finest in football history.
On top of the world
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Spain 2012 vs. Brazil 1970: Who\'s the greatest? Spain 2012 vs. Brazil 1970: Who's the greatest?
Deciding whether or not a shot has crossed the line has long been an issue in football. Arguably the most famous incident was in the 1966 World Cup final, when England's Geoff Hurst saw his shot in extra-time bounce down off the underside of the West Germany crossbar. A goal was awarded, giving England a 3-2 lead, with the hosts going on to win the match 4-2. Deciding whether or not a shot has crossed the line has long been an issue in football. Arguably the most famous incident was in the 1966 World Cup final, when England's Geoff Hurst saw his shot in extra-time bounce down off the underside of the West Germany crossbar. A goal was awarded, giving England a 3-2 lead, with the hosts going on to win the match 4-2.
A legacy of controversies
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The Barcelona forward failed to convert a first-half spot kick after Germany goalkeeper Ron Robert Zieler had been sent off for hauling down Jose Ernesto Sosa.

An own-goal from Sami Khedira gave Argentina the lead early in the second half, before Messi and winger Angel Di Maria put Alejandro Sabella's team 3-0 up. Germany could only offer Benedikt Howedes' late goal in response.

Louis van Gaal began his second spell in charge of the Netherlands national team with a 4-2 defeat in Belgium, as Robin van Persie was omitted from the match-day squad.

The striker, who is poised to join Manchester United after a fee was agreed with Arsenal that day, has lost his place to Klaas-Jan Huntelaar after struggling to impress at Euro 2012.

Christian Benteke gave Belgium a 1-0 lead in Brussels, before a first international goal for Luciano Narsingh and a Huntelaar strike put the Netherlands 2-1 ahead.

But Van Gaal's team collapsed in the final 15 minutes, with Dries Martens, striker Romelu Lukaku and defender Jan Vertonghen sealing a shock success for Belgium.

In a rematch of the Euro 2012 quarterfinal, England turned the tables on Italy to register a 2-1 win in Switzerland.

Fielding a much-changed team weeks after being beaten 4-0 by Spain in the tournament final, Italy took the lead through Daniele de Rossi's first-half header.

Defender Phil Jagielka equalized for Roy Hodgson's team before substitute striker Jermain Defoe fired in a fine late winner.

Former World Cup winner Didier Deschamps began his reign as France coach with a 0-0 draw against 2010 semifinalists Uruguay, while Vicente del Bosque's Spain earned a 2-1 win in Puerto Rico.

New Arsenal signing Santi Cazorla and former Gunner Cesc Fabregas gave the world and European champions a 2-0 lead before Marc Cintron scored a consolation goal for the Caribbean side.

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