What is the Meaning of ‘Dos a Cero’ Given to USA vs Mexico Rivalry

Published 11/13/2021, 9:30 PM EST


The USA vs Mexico soccer matches share significant importance given their ancient rivalry. After the USA defeated Mexico 2-0 during the 2002 World Cup in South Korea, the Americans were jubilant in the stands. Fast forward to 2021, Cincinnati hosted the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match between the two giants, where the USMNT once again defeated Mexico, this time with the same scoreline as 2002.

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Thus, shades of ‘dos a cero’ rivalry came into prominence. Ironically, head coach Gregg Berhalter was present during his time with USMNT back in 2002 as a player and now as a coach. Even though the time gap is enormous, the significance remains intact. So why was the war-cry important in this rivalry’s rich history?

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History of ‘Dos A Cero’

During a time when the Mexicans were ruling the soccer scene in North America, the 2002 World Cup provided the biggest shock of them all. After Mexico topped the group consisting of Italy, Croatia, and Ecuador, they met the USA in an intense knockout round. On the other hand, the Americans stunned Portugal 3-2 to mark their dates against their rivals. At the end of the game, USMNT won the match by 2-0 which lead to fans chanting ‘dos a cero.’

This then became a revolutionary call.

The phrase ‘dos a cero’ refers to the score of 2-0 in soccer when translated from Spanish. Soon after that day, the phrase became famous for the times it repeated in their matches. From 2002 to 2014, the USA defeated Mexico 2-0 at Columbus, Ohio, in every World Cup qualifying match. The term gained plaudits from all parts of the country and became a slogan for all American fans.

However, the streak ended during the 2018 World Cup qualification when Mexico defeated the USA by a score of 2-1. It was also the first time the US failed to qualify for a World Cup finals, since the 1980s.

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The USA scored a priceless victory

Although the recent World Cup qualifier was not played in Columbus, Ohio, the USMNT defeated Mexico by 2-0. This result took them to the top with a +2 goal advantage, putting them in the perfect position to qualify from the group. Notably, US head coach Berhalter spoke about the young talent that is coming through the ranks and playing competitive soccer.

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“When I think about our age and the youth we have in this generation coming up and having to compete against Mexico, that’s an experienced team. And these guys just keep going and they’re relentless,” said Berhalter.

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While the 2002 World Cup produced the start of this famous slogan named ‘Dos A Cero’, the latest victory is important for the team’s success. With a team as good as it gets, the USMNT would be the dark horse for next year’s World Cup. Will they put on a good show in Qatar?

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Jacob Gijy

648 articles

Jacob Gijy is a US Sports and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the center the respect he deserves.

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