They did it again. For the fourth time in four matches dating back to 2001, the United States beat Mexico 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. And in doing so, they helped seal their 2014 World Cup qualification with two matches left to play. It took a missed penalty from Clint Dempsey during injury time to keep the eerily consistent scoreline, but that didn't do anything to sour a jubilant night in front of 24,584 fans in Columbus.
The "dos a cero" scoreline became a famous refrain for U.S. fans after beating Mexico 2-0 in the round of 16 at the 2002 World Cup, but in Columbus it is the only refrain. Eddie Johnson started the path to the latest 2-0 with his header off a corner kick in the 49th minute.
Landon Donovan and his infected eye then finished the job by putting away an excellent setup from Mix Diskerud, who entered the match two minutes earlier.
Coming off a 3-1 loss in Costa Rica that ended their 12-match winning streak and playing without the injured Michael Bradley or suspended Jozy Altidore, Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler, the result was especially empowering for the U.S. Mexico were coming off a rare home loss themselves and they even changed managers over the weekend. With the U.S. back atop the group table and definitely on their way to their seventh straight World Cup, Mexico remain in a precarious position. A playoff against New Zealand seems increasingly likely, though falling short of that is also possible.
The only good news for Mexico is that they don't have to play in Columbus for a while.