The United States national team defeated Mexico 1-0 in Nashville on Tuesday night thanks to a Tyler Adams goal, but it was Matt Miazga who may have set off the night’s fireworks.
With the the contest between the North American rivals scoreless in the 65th minute, Miazga got into it with promising Mexico midfielder Diego Lainez, prompting a coming together of both teams.
It started when Miazga and Lainez were chasing a ball over the top. The Nantes defender, on-loan from Chelsea, won it and was fouled by the Club America teenager.
The two players got into each other’s faces, with Miazga then gesturing to the much shorter Lainez about the teenager’s height.
Mexico forward Angel Zaldivar immediately got between the pair, with USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen also getting into the mix.
Miazga drifted away, but continued to mock Lainez’s height from across a group of players, which prompted Mexico defender Edson Alvarez to bump his USMNT counterpart.
Tempers flared further, with the linesman and the referee having to break the fracas up, though the only yellow card was issued to Alvarez. Miazga had already picked up a caution earlier in the contest.
Tensions did not ease, however, when play resumed moments later.
65′ El juego se ENCENDIÓ 🔥
Miazga 🆚 Lainez y el mexicano remata con un: “No sabes jugar” 😨
🇺🇸 0-0 🇲🇽
Lo mejor del juego ➡️ https://t.co/ygXVYPFYc8 pic.twitter.com/dFaXf4NY1I
— Univision Deportes (@UnivisionSports) September 12, 2018
Zaldivar was quickly shown his marching orders for a tackle on midfielder Wil Trapp after coming in studs up and over the ball on the U.S. midfielder.
Adams would score the lone goal of the contest four minutes after the red card.
After the match, Lainez tried to down play the incident, telling reporters: “It’s something that happens in soccer. A little run-in. It’s nothing. It’s something that’s totally normal.”
Miazga agreed it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary but believed the situation threw the Mexican players off their game.
“It’s normal. We talked a little smack,” Miazga told reporters. “It’s part of the game. It’s mental warfare. We got in their heads, they got a red card right after and you saw what happened. We took control and we won the game.”
It is the second time in as many games a U.S. defender has made the news with his comments to an opposition player.
Right-back DeAndre Yedlin was seen during the USMNT’s 2-0 loss to Brazil questioning the referee’s decision to call him for a foul on star forward Neymar.
After being whistled, Yedlin demanded of the referee “Did you watch the World Cup” in relation to Neymar’s notorious dramatic falls during the tournament in Russia.
Neymar later responded, saying he did not care because he did not know who Yedlin was.