USMNT Returns To Top Of Concacaf With Stunning Win Over Mexico

In the end it was only fitting that the two players who’d combined time after time to crush the spirits of the hugely pro-Mexico crowd inside Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas ultimately delivered the fatal blow for the USMNT in Sunday’s Gold Cup final. 

Kellyn Acosta was sensational for the U.S. in midfield over 120 minutes, and it was his delivery in the 117th-minute of extra time that found center back Miles Robinson, who’d been just as good anchoring the Americans’ backline. 

The U.S. won 70 duels all night, and you could convince me that Acosta and Robinson accounted for all them. But ultimately they got it done at the other end as well.

Mexico had its chances, including 22 shots and five on target, although El Tri’s attack faded after the opening hour. Many of the clearest Mexico opportunities were generated in the first half.

It was Funes Mori: diving at the feet of Matt Turner, forcing Turner into a full-stretch save, firing at the feet of Turner and shooting straight at Turner.  

But the best chance of the opening 45 fell to U.S. and Paul Arriola. 

Sebastian Lletget did all the hard work by pressing, winning possession and setting Arriola up with space and time from 12 yards out, but the D.C. United winger hit the outside of the post. 

In the opening 10 minutes of the second half, Orbelín Pineda was guilty of wasting two clear chances: He dragged an effort wide from 12 yards after working some space and then shinned another. 

The U.S. responded in regular time but was denied by the finishing of Gyasi Zardes, the feet of Edson Álvarez and the back of Alfredo Talavera. Still, the team on the field was showing that it could go toe-to-toe with Mexico’s best group, and Berhalter trusted them through to the winner.

Your 2021 Gold Cup champions:

The USMNT enters World Cup qualifying with Gregg Berhalter commanding the trust of the nation. Will Tata Martino even be there for Mexico?

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