From 2006 on, the United States had two legitimate stars: Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey. And on September 10, 2013, the two combined to ensure the Dos a Cero legacy would live on, albeit it in very different ways.
Mexico entered the clash against the U.S. in grave danger of missing the World Cup. They had just fired their manager and were desperate for a win. But the Americans still controlled much of the match and just after halftime, Eddie Johnson put the U.S. in front.
A 1-0 win, while perfectly fine and good enough to ensure the U.S. would go to the World Cup, wasn’t enough. After all, the Americans had a tradition of beating Mexico 2-0 at Crew Stadium, having done it three times before, and they wanted to make it four.
That’s where Donovan came in. He scored in the 78th minute and chants of "Dos a Cero" echoed around the stadium. And, while no one in Columbus knew it at the time, that would prove to be the final goal of Donovan’s U.S. career.
But while the Americans were thrilled to have their beloved 2-0 scoreline, it was almost ruined. The U.S. were almost too good. That’s because they drew a stoppage time penalty and all Dempsey had to do was bury it to put an emphatic stamp on the Americans’ dominance of their rivals in Columbus. Only it would end Dos a Cero. But none of that mattered because Dempsey skied his penalty over the bar.
Did Dempsey miss the penalty on purpose? He was coy when asked about it afterward, but it didn’t matter. Dos a Cero lived on.