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US win keeps Mexico's World Cup hopes alive

A come-from-behind victory by the U.S. Men's Soccer team in the fourth round of World Cup qualifiers did little to advance the Americans -- who had already clinched -- but did keep Mexico in the running.

By Gabrielle Levy
US win keeps Mexico's World Cup hopes alive
A tweet from the U.S. Men's Soccer team after Tuesday's excitement. (Twitter)

(UPI) -- Mexico soccer fans are grateful to an unexpected savior Wednesday morning, after two late, game-winning goals put the U.S. Men's team ahead of Panama and gave the Mexicans another shot at earning their World Cup berth.

After losing to Costa Rica earlier in the day, Mexico found itself facing elimination from the fourth round of qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup.

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The U.S., going in to Tuesday night's match against Panama, had already clinched a berth to Rio with a CONCACAF-leading six victories, and had nothing to lose. Panama with a win, or even a tie, could earn itself a trip to an intercontinental play-off against New Zealand.

But 1:24 into stoppage time, U.S. midfielder Graham Zusi tied the game, 2-2. A minute later, Aron Johannsson scored again, putting the U.S. ahead by a goal.

And Mexico practically exploded with gratitude.

On broadcasts of the game, Twitter and, Wednesday morning, Mexico's front pages, thanked their biggest rival, saying "Thanks Tío Sam," and "God Bless America."

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Mexico will face New Zealand in Mexico City on November 13 and again in Wellington, New Zealand, on November 20.

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