The battle between Mexico and the United States of America (USA) always have an edge like that of Brazil vs Argentina, Liverpool vs Manchester United, AC Milan vs Inter, or Real Madrid vs Barcelona and the atmosphere was electrifying in Las Vegas when both teams met at the finals of the Concacaf Gold Cup Final. The USA had their say in the final of the Nations League and it was time for Mexico to take revenge, but the USA struck late to lift the trophy.

The USA won its seventh Gold Cup title, it’s first since 2017, matching Mexico for the most in the 15 tournaments. Canada won in 2000. It was just the second victory for the Americans in seven finals against El Tri and the first since 2007.

Those three countries will jointly host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The USA has won nine consecutive games overall and 14 home games in a row.

Before an overwhelmingly pro-Mexico crowd, El Tri started seven of the 11 players who began the Nations League Final that the USA won in extra time in June: defenders Luis Rodríguez, Nestor Araujo, Hector Moreno, and Jesus Gallardo plus midfielders Álvarez, Jesús Corona, and Hector Herrera.

The newcomers were: Talavera –starting in place of goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa who is representing Mexico at the Olympics in Tokyo — Carlos Rodríguez, midfielders Jonathan dos Santos and Orbelín Pineda, and forward Rogelio Funes Mori, plus Uriel Antuna and Hirving “Chucky” Lozano.

The USA lineup included nine players from Maor League Soccer (MLS)

The field Concacaf chose was 69 yards wide, narrower than the recommended 75 yards.

The USA manager Gregg Berhalter made four changes from the lineup in the semifinal win over Qatar, inserting Cannon for Shaq Moore, Bello for Sam Vine, and Williamson for Gianluca Busio, and Zardes for Daryl Dike.

Busio scored for Sporting KC against Phoenix Rising in a preseason match earlier this year.

The archrivals entered the match having conceded just one goal each with both posting four shutouts through their first five games, and neither side budged through 115 minutes in the championship match. Mexico dictated play for much of the first half, but could not break through a disciplined and disruptive collective defensive effort from the U.S.

Anchored by goalkeeper Matt Turner and Robinson at center back, the USA defense continued to play lights out, keeping a clean sheet vs. Mexico. Robinson and Turner are the only two USA players to play every minute of all six matches at the Gold Cup. Turner denied Mexico’s Rogelio Funes Mori on three occasions in the first half alone, including fantastic diving save early on.

The USA weathered the early pressure and had its own chance to take the lead 26 minutes in. Sebastian Lletget picked off a defensive clearance and found Paul Arriola inside the box, but Mexico goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera came out to cut off Arriola’s angle, forcing his shot to hit off the right post.

The second half was more even, with both sides creating half-chances during swinging momentum shifts. However, again and again, the final ball was just off in a hard-fought battle that saw 51 fouls called – including 31 on the USA – and the USMNT also blocking seven shots.

The USA had the last word in extra time, scoring the game-winner in the 117th as Robinson headed in Kellyn Acosta’s free-kick to clinch the USA’s second trophy of the summer.

Mexico’s Edson Alvarez was shown a yellow card following a challenge on Nicolas Giaocchini near the left touchline. Acosta took the ensuing free kick, sending a dangerous ball into the box for Miles Robinson. The defender beat Alvarez in the air to head in the game-winner from seven yards out for his third career international goal.


It was the USA’s third-straight game-winner to come with less than seven minutes to play and marked the latest USA goal in USA-Mexico history.

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