Jonathan dos Santos on Sunday scored the only goal as Mexico defeated the US 1-0 to win the Gold Cup for a record eighth time at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Dos Santos rifled home in the 73rd minute to settle a hard-fought encounter between the two archrivals of North American soccer in front of 62,493 fans.
“I am happy because the boys made a great effort and today we played against one of the best teams in the Gold Cup,” Mexico coach Tata Martino said. “They have made a good effort and a good match. It makes me happy because it was also my first international title.”
Mexico have now won the Gold Cup eight times since 1991 when the championship for teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean was rebooted.
It was a disappointing defeat for the US, who had been hoping to complete a trophy double after the US women powered to victory over the Netherlands in the World Cup final in France.
“Over the course of 90 minutes, Mexico was the better team,” US coach Gregg Berhalter said. “Having said that, we started the game really bright. I think what we lacked was some of the calmness, some of the composure.”
Dos Santos’ winner was the outstanding move of a pulsating duel that saw the US pay the price for failing to take advantage of several promising early chances.
The decisive goal came after a surging run down the right flank by Mexico’s Rodolfo Pizarro. The Monterrey playmaker fed Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Raul Jimenez, who produced a delightful back-heel into the path of Dos Santos, who curled his shot into the top corner past goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
The defeat left Berhalter reflecting on what might have been after his team had started the first half strongly, carving out a string of promising chances as Mexico took their time to get into the game.
“When you talk about a step the team needs to take, we’re close, but we weren’t there tonight,” Berhalter said.
Chelsea’s new US$72 million signing Christian Pulisic squandered a golden opportunity to fire the US ahead after only six minutes, latching on to a deft layoff from striker Jozy Altidore.
Pulisic’s searing pace took him clear of the Mexico defense, with Carlos Salcedo doing his best to unbalance the US attacker without conceding a penalty, but Mexico breathed a sigh of relief after Pulisic could only shoot directly at goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.
Mexico received another huge let-off only two minutes later.
A speculative long ball forward from defender Tim Ream caught the Mexico defense off-guard and Altidore was left in a one-on-one with Hector Moreno and he cleverly wrong-footed the defenser to leave himself one-on-one with Ochoa, but could only look on in disgust as he dragged his shot just wide of the post.
“It is disappointing to lose a final,” US midfielder Michael Bradley said. “We had some good chances. Getting the first goal can go a long ways towards winning the game. We had a good start to the game and if anything, the beginning of the second half wasn’t what it needed to be. They were able to get some momentum and get their goal. It was a tough way to lose.”
The frenetic start also produced some rugged challenges.
Altidore was lucky to escape at least a yellow card for scything down Dos Santos, while Pulisic was also fortunate not to be booked for a tackle from behind on Edson Alvarez.
At the other end, Mexico also began to test the US defense, with Andres Guardado shooting over on 16 minutes.
Tempers threatened to boil over soon after halftime when Altidore and Moreno tangled on halfway, which saw players from both sides rush to confront each other.
The US almost broke the deadlock in the 51st minute when a Jordan Morris header was cleared off the line by Guardado, but that was as good as it got for the US.
“We will stick together in this moment. I am certainly proud of the group. We continue to make progress and we’ve got to keep going,” Bradley said.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is buying the Forum for US$400 million, ending the billionaire’s legal fight with Madison Square Garden Co (MSG) and clearing the way to build a new arena for his NBA team down the street in Inglewood, California. Ballmer on Tuesday announced his cash purchase of the venerated arena. Ballmer, a former Microsoft executive, and Clippers vice chairman Dennis Wong are making the transaction through CAPSS LLC, a newly formed entity that would continue to operate the Forum as a live music venue. “This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said.
EXPENDITURE: Tokyo Games organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said that ‘additional expenses are going to be quite massive’ to reschedule the Olympics The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working with sports bodies to arrange a July-to-August window next year for the postponed Tokyo Olympics and hopes to confirm the schedule within a month, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported yesterday. John Coates, head of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics, told the newspaper that the Games would have to be held between the tennis Grand Slams of Wimbledon, scheduled to end in mid-July, and the US Open, which starts in late August. “We want to more or less finalize the dates in four weeks’ time,” the newspaper quoted Coates as saying. Coates, who is also
PROUD, BUT BOWING OUT: The Dallas center missed all of 2018 due to Guillain-Barre syndrome, but Travis Frederick returned to be a standout again last season Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick on Monday stunningly announced his retirement. Frederick, who turned 29 on Wednesday last week, was a Pro Bowl selection in five of his six NFL seasons. Frederick revealed his retirement in a lengthy letter, beginning it by writing: “After much consideration, discussion, and reflection, I have decided to retire from football. This was not an easy decision.” Frederick cited his bout with autoimmune disease Guillain-Barre syndrome as a factor. He missed the 2018 season due to the illness in which the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system, but he returned to be a standout again last
When two Spanish soccer players took to the controls of FIFA 20 after the COVID-19 pandemic saw their La Liga match canceled, a stadium-sized virtual audience watched online. The huge digital crowd last week is part of a spectacular boom for the digital gaming industry, as record numbers flock to online servers for distraction, entertainment and friendship with the “real world” seemingly falling apart. Real Betis Balompie striker Borja Iglesias kicked the winning goal using his own digital likeness in the 6-5 battle against Sevilla, which was broadcast on popular video game streaming platform Twitch. It took place at the same time the