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Ralston scores game winner against Mexico as US qualify for the World Cup
Columbus, OH. - The US Men’s National Team became the first nation in the CONCACAF (North and Central America) region to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. It was the first time since 1934 that the US has accomplished this feat. It also marks the 5th consecutive time the US has qualified for the World Cup. The New England Revolution’s Steve Ralston scored the game winner for the US, while DaMarcus Beasley also scored, as the US beat their archrivals.

The US defense held strong the whole match as Mexico was only able to put two shots on target. Their best chance came just before half time when Ramon Morales sent a free kick from 25 yards out towards the lower-left corner of the goal. US goalkeeper Kasey Keller made a diving save to preserve the score at 0-0 going into the break.

The US took the lead in the 53rd minute, when Eddie Lewis sent a free kick into the box. Oguchi Onyewu got up and headed it off the post. The ball bounced across the goal line before Steve Ralston got on the end off it for an easy header into the back of the net.

Five minutes later, the US doubled their lead, when DaMarcus Beasley played a short corner kick to Landon Donovan. Donovan then sent the ball to Claudio Reyna, who laid it off for an onrushing Beasley. Beasley received the ball eight yards from goal and sent a curling shot into the far side netting.

Mexico was bitter after the match. ”The U.S. is a small team,'' Mexico Coach Ricardo Lavolpe was quoted as saying after the match by the Associated Press.. “They play like my sister, my aunt and my grandmother.''

The US still has three matches remaining in qualifying, but have already clinched a spot in the World Cup and will likely do some experimenting in the upcoming matches. The US next takes on Guatemala on Wednesday, September 7th at 10:00PM. The match can be seen live on ESPN2 and the Revolution’s Steve Ralston, Taylor Twellman, Clint Dempsey and Matt Reis have all been called up for it.
September 05, 2005 Sean Donahue


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