Hugo Balta

CONCACAF’s heavy hitters met once again in another Gold Cup final with this year’s edition held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As has come to be the expectation, it was Mexico and the USMNT that faced off for the cup. Mexico came in with a lot of doubts, not really having convinced fans and making it clear they were not in their best form. The USMNT on their end came into the tournament with what many called a “B” squad at best. Many of their key players were not called up for this tournament. Both teams struggled to get to the final, eager to erase their subpar performances to date.

Gameplay started off just as you would expect it, with both teams giving it their all. Often it was Mexico in control, but the USMNT also had several attempts at goal.

Early on, Mexico had to make changes in defense, subbing out Hector Moreno with an apparent injury for Carlos Salcedo.

However, for both teams, it was their respective goalkeepers that stole the show. Throughout the game, Alfredo Talavera and Matt Turner were by far the most impactful players for their sides. Evidence of this being that despite both teams best efforts, they would end up going into extra time.

Here the back and forth continued until the second half of extra time where the decisive goal would be scored. In the 117th minute, a Kellyn Acosta center found Miles Robinson for a header that beat both Edson Alvarez and Talavera.

Despite the decent game Mexico had played, it would not be enough and with a late goal they would have no time to respond. With this, Team USA, for the second time this summer beat out Mexico in a cup final.

The loss is heartbreaking for Mexico fans, who are left with even more doubts about the future of El Tri and Gerardo Martino.

For Team USA, this is an important victory as they slowly start building their case for the best team in North America. In the immediate present, certainly the case could be successfully made as they’ve now beaten Mexico twice in finals, with two entirely different teams as well.

El Tri fans will have to focus on the Mexican Olympic team for now if they want to see further Mexico National Team action.