MEXICO CITY (AP) — Substitute Miguel Sabah scored in the 82nd minute for Mexico to beat the United States 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.

Mexico’s third win in six matches in CONCACAF qualifying strengthened its chances of reaching next year’s World Cup in South Africa.

Sabah was alone in front of the net when he took a feed from Efrain Juarez and beat goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Mexico has won 23 of its 24 home matches against the U.S.

The Americans scored first at Estadio Azteca thanks to a brilliant setup by Landon Donovan for Charlie Davies in the 9th minute.

Israel Castro tied it 10 minutes later with a wicked shot under the crossbar.

That energized the crowd, which understood how damaging a home loss would be, particularly after Mexico won the Gold Cup last month using many of the same players. The U.S., however, changed almost the entire lineup that was routed 5-0 in that final.

Three American defenders — Oguchi Onyewu, Jay DeMerit and Carlos Bocanegra – drew yellow cards in a game that became increasingly physical. Onyewu carried a yellow into the match, meaning he will miss the next qualifier on Sept. 5 against El Salvador in Sandy, Utah.

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