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USMNT Beat Mexico To Win Gold Cup

The USMNT was crowned champion of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup on Sunday night after defeating Mexico 1-0 in extra time on Miles Robinson’s 117th-minute header before a sold-out crowd of 61,514 fans at Allegiant Stadium. 

With the victory, the USA clinched its seventh Gold Cup title and second-straight victory vs. Mexico in a tournament final after also defeating its regional rival in the inaugural Concacaf Nations League Final on June 6 with an almost entirely different squad.

In winning its ninth-straight game, the USA registered its fourth-straight shutout and fifth in six Gold Cup matches, only conceding a penalty kick goal in the second group stage game vs. Martinique. For his efforts anchoring the defense, goalkeeper Matt Turner won the Golden Glove as the tournament’s best goalkeeper. The USA has now won the Concacaf Gold Cup in 1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2017 and 2021.

First Half

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.

USMNT in action in the gold cup
USA defender Miles Robinson 12 scores in extra time Photo Stephen R Sylvanie USA TODAY Sports

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 U.S. 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 a 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.

Second Half

The second half was more even, with both sides creating half-chances during swinging momentum shifts. 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 second half of extra time as Robinson headed in Kellyn Acosta’s free kick to clinch the USA’s second trophy of the summer. It was the USA’s third-straight game-winner to come with less than seven minutes to play and marked the latest USMNT goal in USA-Mexico history.

The USA now shifts its focus to the start of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying next month. The USMNT begins its quest for Qatar on Sept. 2 at El Salvador, plays Canada on Sept. 5 in Nashville and closes the FIFA window on Sept. 8 at Honduras.

usmnt in action in the gold cup
United States players celebrate after defeating Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final at Allegiant Stadium Photo Joe Camporeale USA TODAY Sports


USA: 1-Matt Turner; 2-Reggie Cannon (20-Shaq Moore, 65), 16-James Sands, 12-Miles Robinson, 21-George Bello (3-Sam Vines, 65); 19-Eryk Williamson (6-Gianluca Busio, 87), 23-Kellyn Acosta, 17-Sebastian Lletget (10-Cristian Roldan, 66); 7-Paul Arriola (Capt.) (8-Nicholas Gioacchini, 87), 9-Gyasi Zardes, 13-Matthew Hoppe (24-Henry Kessler, 120+1)
Substitutes not used: 18-Sean Johnson, 22-Brad Guzan, 4-Donovan Pines, 11-Daryl Dike, 14-Jackson Yueill, 15-Jonathan Lewis 
Head coach: Gregg Berhalter 

MEX: 1-Alfredo Talavera; 21-Luis Rodriguez, 2-Nestor Araujo, 15-Hector Moreno (Capt.) (3-Carlos Salcedo, 44), 23-Jesus Gallardo; 16-Hector Herrera, 4-Edson Alvarez, 6-Jonathan Dos Santos (14-Erick Gutierrez, 76); 10-Orbelin Pineda (24-Rodolfo Pizarro, 76), 11-Rogelio Funes (9-Alan Pulido, 105) Mori, 17-Jesus Corona (5-Osvaldo Rodriguez, 90)
Substitutes not used: 12-Rodolfo Cota, 20-Jonathan Orozco, 7-Erick Sanchez, 8-Kevin Alvarez, 13-Alan Cervantes, 18-Efrain Alvarez, 19-Gilberto Sepulveda
Head coach: Gerardo Martino 

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