The U.S. had drawn one and lost 23 of 24 previous matches in Mexico, but Michael Orozco Fiscal’s late goal in Wednesday’s friendly international was enough for a landmark success over the newly-crowned Olympic champions.
Orozco Fiscal, who plays for Mexican club San Luis, netted from close range in the 80th minute to inflict just the ninth defeat for Mexico in 120 games at the Azteca Stadium.
Mexico beat the U.S. 4-2 in last year’s Gold Cup final in Pasadena, after which former Germany international Klinsmann replaced Bob Bradley as coach.
“I think it’s huge,” head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told U.S. Soccer’s official website. “It’s huge for all American fans and it’s huge for the team. It’s historic.
“We were well aware that we’ve never won here at Azteca and this is an amazing experience for all the players. We told them before the game, ‘This moment is for you, go and grab it.’ “
The Americans’ triumph owed much to the performance of goalkeeper Tim Howard, who produced a string of saves, including an impressive late denial of striker Javier Hernandez.
“It’s a wonderful moment because winning a game against a very good Mexican team that we have a lot of respect for at the Azteca Stadium, that means a lot to us,” added Klinsmann.
“That was very difficult for us and Tim Howard made some unbelievable saves, and I’ve said it many times over the last few years that he belongs to the top three goalkeepers in the world and he showed that tonight.”
Defeat for Mexico comes off the back of an impressive run at the Olympic tournament, where the under-23 team upset the odds to defeat Brazil 2-1 in the London 2012 final on Saturday.
“I think it’s important for us to understand that we can compete with big teams at their stadiums,” said Klinsmann, whose team recorded a historic first win in Italy earlier this year and next face two World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica in September.
“It’s like when you play Wembley in England or Stade de France or in Berlin. Those are special occasions. I want the players to appreciate that. I want the players to take it all in because you never know when you’ll have another occasion like that.
“That’s what we told the players: You have nothing to lose here. Give it all you have. Can we play better? Yes. Can we play technically cleaner? Yes.”