Saturday night LA was draped in green as Mexico dominated the US 4-2 to claim the Gold Cup finale. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead early the US looked to have a magic touch. But Mexico, sensing weakness on the Yanks left side, unleashed their dangerous set of attackers and made the US pay scoring four unanswered on their way to the Cup and a spot in the 2013 Confederations Cup tournament.
Both teams suffered early losses with three defenders total coming out in the first half – two for Mexico and one for the US – but the Yanks were the ones affected. The US inserted Jonathan Bornstein for the injured Steve Cherundolo and El Tri immediately dispatched Pablo Barrera and Gio Dos Santos to exploit the out of form left back. Mexico on the other hand didn’t miss a beat and recovered from giving up two early goals.
The injury replacement aside the Mexicans were simply the better side. The US had no answer for El Tri’s precise runs and pinpoint passing. The masterclass was complete when Gio Dos Santos scored an amazing 77 minute goal into the top corner of the US goal to seal the deal.
The win pushes Mexico forward into what could be their best generation of players in 25 years. While the US is left to search for answers and contemplate where the depth on the back line will come from ahead of World Cup qualifying?
While those are issues for the future, Saturday night was all about Mexico. In front of an “away field advantage” El Tri showed that they’re a force to be reckoned with on the world stage.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com and contributes to Soccerlens.com during the Gold Cup. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.