USMNT beats Mexico in the CONCACEF Nations League final
Christian Pulisic converted a penalty kick in the 114th minute, backup goalkeeper Ethan Horvath stopped Andres Guardado’s penalty kick in the 124th and the United States overcame an early defensive blunder to beat Mexico 3-2 on Sunday night in a final of the first CONCACAF Nations League that turned on three video reviews.
Jesus Corona put Mexico ahead 63 seconds in after a sloppy giveaway by McKenzie, who made a poor pass in his own penalty area right into the path Corona, who dribbled in alone on Steffen and sent an angled shot over the goalkeeper’s right shoulder for his ninth goal.
It was the earliest goal conceded by the U.S. since at least 1990.
Mexico appeared to go up 2-0 in the 24th minute when Hector Herrera played a short corner kick to Lozano, who gave the ball back, and Herrera made a long cross that unmarked Hector Moreno headed in. After a brief delay for the video review, the goal was disallowed for offside.
In a testy match, Giovanni Reyna, who scored the first U.S. goal, left the field when it appeared to be hit on the face by an object thrown from the stands following Pulisic’s goal.
The match was also halted for about three minutes during second-half stoppage time because of discriminatory chants at Empower Field in Denver.
Pulisic, fresh off of winning the Champions League with Chelsea on May 29, cut inside the penalty area and was pulled down by Carlos Salcedo in the 108th minute.
Referee did not initially signal a penalty but consulted a video review and then pointed to the spot. Mexico coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino appeared to receive a red card for putting a hand on an official during the review and Hirving Lozano was given a yellow card for arguing after the decision.
Pulisic sent the ball to the upper corner past the left arm of goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa for his 16th international goal.
Pitti again did not make a call in the 119th minute when Luis Romo’s header went off the left arm of Mark McKenzie, whose arm was perhaps only slightly outstretched.
Horvath, who replaced injured starter Zack Steffen in the 69th minute, waited to the last moment and dived right to bat away the penalty by Mexico’s captain.
The U.S. had to survive an extended 11 minutes of stoppage time following the second extra period.