When the United States and Mexico meet on a football pitch, it’s always bound to generate some excitement.
Tuesday evening saw the two rivals go head to head for the 68th time in a friendly at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium.
Despite snatching a 1-0 victory courtesy of Tyler Adams’ first international goal, the hosts still trail their southern neighbours 19 wins to 34 overall.
Tensions were high throughout what was a tight affair and it made for a captivating spectacle played in front of more than 69,000 fans.
However, emotions boiled over just past the hour mark in an incident leading to a red card for Mexico forward Angel Zaldivar.
Chelsea defender Matt Miazga – who’s currently at Nantes on his second loan spell away from Stamford Bridge – was at the centre of attention after his ongoing duel with Diego Lainez turned nasty.
The 23-year-old had been tussling with his Mexican opponent all night and after drawing a foul near the touchline led to an altercation, he decided to get personal.
Miazga – a 6’4” centre-back – is almost a clear foot taller than Lainez and used this discrepancy in an attempt to embarrass him.
Towering over the teenager, the former New York Red Bulls man gestured to show the top of his opponent’s head barely reaches midway up his chest.
Take a look at what happened in the video below.
Speaking to reporters post-match, Miazga played down the clash: “It’s normal. We talked a little smack. It’s part of the game. It’s mental warfare,” per the Daily Mail.
Lainez was equally cool in his reflection, saying: “It doesn’t offend me at all, it’s part of the sport. Quality isn’t height. I’m calm.”
Well, that’s certainly not the way their respective teammates saw it in the heat of the moment.
Several players from both nations quickly swarmed towards the scene of the scrap, and as they pushed and shoved among themselves, Miazga continued mocking Lainez from afar.
Neither of the pair was cautioned for their involvement, though the referee did get out his red card for a separate challenge from Angel Zaldivar on Will Trapp three minutes later.
It could be argued Miazga was out of line for using such a cheap tactic to gain a psychological edge, but then again, footballers will do just about anything to win.
What do you make of a professional player mocking an opponent’s height? Leave a comment to let us know what you think.