NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tyler Adams scored his first international goal, four minutes after Angel Zaldivar was ejected for a studs-up tackle, and the United States rebounded from a poor first half for a 1-0 victory over Mexico on Tuesday night, the Americans’ first win over their rival in three years.
Adams, a 19-year-old who made his national team debut last November, scored after Kellyn Acosta passed to a sprinting Antonee Robinson on the left flank. Robinson crossed for Adams, who one-timed the ball from the penalty spot past goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez, who played his first match for El Tri at age 28.
The left-footed Robinson, burned by Diego Costa with a cross that led to Brazil’s opening goal in a 2-0 loss Friday, had replaced right-footed Eric Lichaj at left back in the 56th minute.
Mexico played a man short after Zaldivar took down U.S. captain Wil Trapp in the 67th minute, and the U.S. immediately surged in its attack.
U.S. midfielder Weston McKennie was replaced in the 40th minute after what appeared to be a non-contact injury to his left knee.
The U.S. improved has three wins, two losses and three draws under interim coach Dave Sarachan, who took over last October after Bruce Arena quit when the Americans failed to qualify for the World Cup. New general manager Earnie Stewart plans to announce a permanent coach later this year.
The Americans had two losses and a tie in their previous three matches against Mexico, including a home defeat and a road draw in World Cup qualifying.
Since opening the World Cup with wins over defending champion Germany and South Korea, Mexico has lost four straight games for the first time since 2001. Losses to Sweden and Brazil and the World Cup were followed by an exhibition defeat to Uruguay, with El Tri outscored 10-1 over the four matches.
There were few chances in the first half, when both teams showed little creative flair.
The match between the regional rivals became heated in the second half. Edson Alvarez was given a yellow card for bumping Matt Miazga after the 6-foot-4 American mocked Diego Lainez, who was defending him despite being nearly a foot shorter.
A crowd of 40,194 turned out for the game at Nissan Stadium, one of the sites on the proposed preliminary list for 2026 World Cup matches.
Sarachan made six changes from Friday and his lineup averaging 23 years, 5 days, the youngest starting lineup for the Americans against Mexico since at least 1990.
Mexico changed 10 starters from Friday and gave debuts to Gonzalez, defenders Jose Abella and Gerardo Arteago, and midfielder Erick Aguirre.