Mexico rally to beat USA in Gold Cup final

Mexico win CONCACAF football championship for the second time in a row, defeating the US as they did in 2009.

    Mexico won their second title in a row in the North, Central American and Caribbean tournament [GALLO/GETTY]]

    Mexico won a sixth CONCACAF Gold Cup title by rallying to score four goals and defeat the United States 4-2 in Saturday's championship game at the Rose Bowl stadium in California.

    Pablo Barrera scored his second goal of the game in the 50th minute to break a 2-2 deadlock and Giovani Dos Santos added an incredible fourth in the 76th minute for the Mexicans, who trailed 2-0 after only 23 minutes.

    Mexico won their second title in a row in the biennial regional tournament, defeating their neighbours in the final as they did in 2009, and qualifying for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.

    "There's no better moment than victory," Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre said. "Everything else is in the past now."

    Manchester United's Javier Hernandez was named the Gold Cup Most Valuable Player. Hernandez led this year's tournament with seven goals.

    Dos Santos' goal was a fitting way to round off the tournament [GALLO/GETTY]

    Mexico and the US team have won 10 of the 11 Gold Cups contested since the tournament took its current form in 1991.

    Dos Santos netted inarguably the goal of the tournament, dancing around US goalkeeper Tim Howard, who had charged out of his net after a loose ball, then spun past two stunned defenders and chipped the ball over a leaping Eric Lachaj into the upper right corner of the net.

    The Americans played well defensively in the tournament until they came up against the explosive Mexican attack. American captain Carlos Bocanegra said there was confusion among the US defenders on Saturday.

    "It was an overall frustating night," Bocanegra said. "Defensively we weren't good enough."

    A sold-out crowd of 93,420 in Pasadena was the largest ever for a Gold Cup game in the USA. The pro-Mexican crowd was clad mainly in green and cheering loudly for the visitors despite the match being played on US soil.

    American fans tried to get chants of "USA, USA" going in the first half but they were quickly drowned out by the "El Tri" supporters with a chorus of "Ole, Ole".

    Michael Bradley scored in the eighth minute and Landon Donovan added another goal in the 23rd minute as the Americans jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

    Donovan's goal was his 13 in Gold Cup play, giving him the all-time tournament lead.

    "You're worried and you don't want to become disorganised," de la Torre said about falling behind early.

    "The United States was playing well. They surprised us with the first goal. We pushed too far up in the second goal.

    "Fortunately, we were able to maintain our calm."

    Barrera scored his first goal in the 29th minute and Andres Guardado, who was playing with an injured left ankle, netted the equaliser in the 36th minute, setting the stage for a second half dominated by the Mexicans.

    Barrera put his 17-yard shot just inside the right post to snap Howard's tournament shutout streak at 351 minutes.

    Guardado tied it by pouncing on a loose ball about five yards out after Dos Santos started the move with a pass from the right side that bounced off Lichaj, before the Mexicans ran rampant in the second 45.

    "Our back line couldn't figure it out," Bocanegra said. "They spread us out and we weren't all on the same page."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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