Jonathan dos Santos scored the only goal when Mexico defeated the USA 1-0 and won the CONCACAF Gold Cup at Soldier Field for the eighth time on Sunday.
Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder dos Santos scored in the 73rd minute for a fiercely contested duel between the two arch rivals of North American football in front of 62,493 fans.
The victory gave Mexico the eighth Gold Cup title since restarting the North American, Central American and Caribbean Championship (CONCACAF) in 1991.
However, it was a disappointing defeat for the American men who had hoped to win a double victory for the country’s representative teams after the US women’s team defeated Sunday’s World Cup in France.
The winner of Dos Santos was the outstanding move of a thrilling duel in which the US paid the price for not having used some promising early opportunities. The decisive goal scored the Mexican Rodolfo Pizarro after a fast run over the right flank.
The Monterrey playmaker put Raul Jimenez in front of the Wolverhampton Wanderers, who drove the shot from dos Santos into the top corner after US goalkeeper Zack Steffen with a sexy heel.
However, the defeat left US coach Gregg Berhalter wondering what it would have been like after his side had begun the first half. Mexico took the time to get in the game.
Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic missed a golden opportunity to put the Americans ahead after only six minutes, beating striker Jozy Altidore.
The cursory pace of Pulisic brought him out of the Mexican defense. Carlos Salcedo did his best to unbalance the US attacker without conceding a penalty. But the Mexicans breathed a sigh of relief after Pulisic could only fire directly on goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.
Just two minutes later, the Mexicans got another big break. A speculative long forward from defender Tim Ream hit the Mexican defense unprepared and Altidore remained in a duel with Hector Moreno.
2⃣ Dos gritos sagrados, dos goles para salir campeón con México, dos golazos fuera de serie, dos celebraciones explosivas, las dos veces contra Estados Unidos, en dos finales de #GoldCup, 🇲🇽 DOS SANTOS 🇲🇽#GoldCup2019 #EstoEsNuestro @OficialGio @jona2santos @miseleccionmx pic.twitter.com/GrENeHuIDO— Gold Cup 2019 (@GoldCup) July 8, 2019
Altidore was a skilful Moreno with a false foot, who said goodbye to Ochoa one-on-one, but could only watch in disgust when he just dragged his left foot shot just past the post.
The rapid start also brought with it some difficult challenges. Altidore was fortunate to escape at least one yellow card because he had deterred Dos Santos, and Pulisic was fortunate not to be booked for a wild duel from behind when Edson Alvarez crashed onto the pitch.
At the other end, Mexico also began testing the US defense. Andres Guardado shot past 16 minutes after a desperate late block by Paul Arriola.
The mood threatened to simmer shortly after halftime when Altidore and Moreno got tangled halfway and players from both sides ran into each other.
The USA nearly broke the deadlock on 51 minutes when Jordan Morris headed home from a corner from Pulisic by Andres Guardado.
But this was better than ever for the US side as Mexico slowly dominated midfield and the lively Pizarro was a constant threat.