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Adams off the mark as USA sink 10-man Mexico

AFP News
Matt Miazga of the USA grabs the jersey of Angel Zaldivar of Mexico during a friendly match at Nissan Stadium in Nashville

Teenager Tyler Adams scored his first international goal as a new-look United States side defeated 10-man Mexico 1-0 in a friendly international on Tuesday.

New York Red Bulls midfielder Adams burst into the penalty area to tuck away an Antonee Robinson cross on 71 minutes to settle a hardfought encounter at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.

US interim coach Dave Sarachan praised the 19-year-old Adams' performance.

"This kid's a beast," Sarachan said. "When you look at data, analytics and the volume of work he does in 90 minutes, he's a winner, this kid.

"He keeps getting better. Not perfect but he's shown that he's emerging as someone that other players can look up to."

Adams' goal came after tempers had flared during the second half of the latest meeting between the two bitter North American football rivals.

Mexico's Angel Zaldivar had been shown a red card in the 66th minute for a brutal challenge on Wil Trapp that saw the USA midfielder lucky to escape serious injury.

Zaldivar's wild tackle had come just moments after several players joined a scuffle triggered by a confrontation between the USA's France-based defender Matt Miazga and Mexican prodigy Diego Lainez.

"We knew that at some point in the game it might boil over," Sarachan said. "And I do think our guys showed great composure."

Lainez, 18, had been Mexico's best player during a dominant first half display which saw El Tri carve out the most promising openings without being able to convert their pressure into goals.

USA forward Gyasi Zardes had headed over from Weston McKennie's cross early in the first half but Mexico were in control for long periods afterwards.

Their best chance came when Roberto Alvarado headed goalwards on 16 minutes only to see USA goalkeeper Zack Steffen tip over.

The complexion of the game changed when Sarachan replaced Eric Lichaj with the left-footed Robinson, who plays for Wigan in the English Championship, early in the second half.

Robinson's introduction gave the USA greater width down the flank and when Zaldivar was dismissed midway through the half the hosts seized their chance to stretch Mexico further.

Robinson galloped down the left wing into space and calmly picked out Adams, who had sprinted 40 yards to join the attack.

The youngster cleverly picked his spot and placed his finish beyond the wrong-footed Hugo Gonzalez.

The victory comes as a morale-boosting win for Sarachan's side, whose starting line-up averaged just 11.2 caps per player.

Sarachan, who has served as interim USA coach for nearly a year following the departure of Bruce Arena after last year's failure to qualify for the World Cup, made six changes from the team outclassed by Brazil last Friday.

The defeat was Mexico's fourth consecutive loss following defeats by Sweden and Brazil at the World Cup and a 4-1 drubbing by Uruguay last Friday.

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