The United States Men’s National Team defeated Mexico 1-0 in extra time at Allegiant Stadium Sunday night in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final. It was the 72nd meeting between the two nations and their 7th meeting in the Gold Cup final.
The U.S. won their 7th Gold Cup and first since 2017. The U.S. also defeated Mexico in the inaugural Nations League final earlier this summer.
Midfielder Kellyn Acosta gave the U.S. a stellar performance Sunday night, including the game-winning assist to Miles Robinson, whose 117th minute header broke the deadlock and sent the Americans to glory on Manager Gregg Berhalter’s 48th birthday.
Allegiant Stadium hosted a sold-out crowd in Las Vegas, the majority of which were Mexican supporters. It was the largest crowd in Allegiant Stadium’s short history.
Action got off to a hot start in the 2nd minute as Rogelio Funes Mori nearly dispossessed U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner within the penalty area. Funes Mori went down on the play and the Mexican faithful at Allegiant clamored for a penalty, but none was given.
The U.S. quickly responded with a chance of their own in the 4th minute. Eryk Williamson had a good look at a half-volley off a cross from the wing, but didn’t get a clean strike.
Turner stunned the crowd in the 11th minute when he made a full-extension glove save from a Funes Mori header off a corner kick that was surely headed for the back of the net.
The U.S. almost capitalized on sloppy play from Mexico in the 26th minute. Sebastian Lletget stole the ball off of a heavy touch from one of Mexico’s back four and laid the ball off perfectly to Paul Arriola, whose shot beat Mexican goalie Alfredo Talavera only to be denied by the right post.
Mexico nearly scored off a flash of brilliance from Funes Mori in the 31st minute. With his back to goal, he juggled and popped up a header to himself before turning to face the net. He didn’t leave himself enough space, however, and Turner closed down on the ball.
In the 38th minute, Funes Mori and Turner met again when Turner saved a screaming lawnmower shot off Funes Mori’s right foot.
The U.S. opened the second half in a flash as Williamson instantly pushed a through-ball just out of reach to a free-running Lletget and into the arms of Mexican goalie Alfredo Talavera. Intensity began to build inside Allegiant Stadium.
Mexico responded by creating multiple quality chances in the next few minutes. Orbelín Pineda had a golden opportunity as he was free in front on the net, but he hooked his shot wide left. Pineda almost immediately put another opportunity away but failed to redirect a low cross on goal.
Action continued furiously back and forth throughout the early stages of the second half but the match remained scoreless. The U.S. had a chance in the 67th as an early cross was just barely too high for the threatening heads of Gyasi Zardes and Matthew Hoppe.
Hoppe had another chance in the 69th minute when his screaming shot from outside of the penalty area was blocked. Two minutes later Hoppe had an even closer shot blocked by a sliding Edson Álvarez.
Pandemonium broke out in front of the Mexican goal in the 73rd minute after a long free kick led to a loose ball at the feet of Paul Arriola. A miraculous save by Talavera kept the scoresheet clean.
Momentum had shifted in the Americans’ favor, but that momentum failed to translate to goals. The match remained scoreless and headed to extra time.
The two teams traded hopeful buildup play in the first half of extra time, but the pace of play slowed considerably. Gyasi Zardes finally showed some life for the U.S in the second half as he controlled a long pass and turned towards goal, but his shot went directly into the arms of Talavera.
A long free kick for Mexico in the 113th minute looked promising as it created a loose ball in front of net, but the U.S. cleared it away.
It was in the 117th minute when Kellyn Acosta delivered a picture-perfect long free kick to the head of a soaring Miles Robinson. Robinson headed the service down towards goal and into the back of the net. The offside flag stayed down and Robinson was mobbed by his teammates. The final whistle blew shortly after and the celebration was on for the Americans.
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