When is a win not a win? When the U.S. Men's National soccer team goes into Azteca Stadium in Mexico City and holds El Tri to a 0-0 tie.
The sellout crowd of 100,000 only contained about 500 Americans, NPR's Carrie Kahn reported, and they spent time surrounded by riot police in full gear.
Eric Astorias from Phoenix Arizona says coming here to see the game was the thrill of a lifetime, even if he has to do it behind a police line.
"OK, there's about 100 police surrounding you, with full riot gear."
"Exactly. It's alarming, but we're all out here to have a good time."
Kahn also quoted a Mexican fan as saying the rivalry between the two nations is a long and bitter one: "We are neighbors, uncomfortable neighbors, and that makes for a great rivalry and a great game."
The tense final moments of the match between these neighbors prompted fantastic English commentator Ian Darke to make the comparison, "This is the Alamo, isn't it?"
The game's result moves the United States ahead of Mexico in the CONCACAF qualifying standings. The top three teams go to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
But beyond that, last night's result lends a legitimacy to the U.S. victory last August in a friendly match. The Americans had never won on Mexican soil, and some considered it a fluke. But to hold Mexico scoreless in a tie, well, that could be a sign the rivalry's victor is no longer a given.
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