United States and Mexico form 'unity wall' before match after Donald Trump's presidential victory

During his divisive election campaign, the President-elect promised to build a wall along the US-Mexico border in order to curb immigration

Mark Critchley
Saturday 12 November 2016 11:58 GMT
US and Mexico players unite for a team photo ahead of their World Cup qualifier in Colombus
US and Mexico players unite for a team photo ahead of their World Cup qualifier in Colombus

The United States and Mexico national teams made a pointed statement prior to kick-off in their World Cup qualifying clash on Friday night.

Instead of posing for separate team photographs, as per convention, the two sets of players came together and mixed to form what many have interpreted as a ‘unity wall’.

The gesture follows the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States earlier this week.

During his divisive election campaign, Trump infamously pledged to build a wall along the two countries’ shared border to curb immigration from Mexico to the US.

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The President-elect also promised to make Mexico pay for the erection of the wall and labelled Mexican migrants as “rapists” and “murderers”.

Trump’s rise to prominence in US politics has strained the country's relations with Mexico, but there was little evidence of animosity between the two rivals at the Mapfre Stadium in Columbus.

The only flashpoint came in the final moments of the World Cup qualifier, which ended in a late 2-1 win for Juan Carlos Osorio’s Mexico, came when tempers flared between the US’ Christian Pulisic and Mexico’s Carlos Salcedo.

An argument between the two players sparked squabbles between others on both sides, but was soon quelled by referee Walter Lopez.

The incident came shortly after Rafael Marquez's 89th minute winner had sealed three points for Mexico and ended 'Dos a Cero', their 15-year-long streak of losing 2-0 to the US in World Cup qualifying ties in Columbus.

Oribe Peralta, the Mexico striker, later highlighted the game's political subtext, tweeting: “No hay muro que nos detenga,” which translates as: “There is no wall that can stop us.”

Mexico, who now sit second in Concacaf's World Cup Round 5 qualifying table after one game, face a trip to Panama on Tuesday. Jürgen Klinsmann's US will travel to Costa Rica on Wednesday.

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