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AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

Mexico's Christian Gimenez, center, kicks the ball past United States' Alejandro Bedoya, left, and Graham Zusi during the first half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The United States closed in on its seventh straight World Cup appearance, beating regional rival Mexico 2-0 Tuesday night on second-half goals by Eddie Johnson and Landon Donovan before a raucous red-white-and-blue-clad crowd that stood and chanted from start to finish.

After withstanding Mexican pressure for the first 20 minutes, the U.S. settled into the match and got the breakthrough in the 49th minute when Johnson outjumped defender Diego Reyes to meet Donovan's corner kick 8 yards out and head the ball past frozen goalkeeper Jesus Corona.

With Mexican shifting to an offense-minded 3-4-3 formation, the U.S. scored in the 78th following a throw in when Mix Diskerud threaded the ball across the goalmouth past Clint Dempsey, and Donovan poked it in from 2 yards.