Las Vegas, NV- The USMNT faced off against Mexico in an exciting Gold Cup Final, where the USMNT came out triumphant.
More than 60 thousand fans witnessed this great game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. With highs and lows throughout the match, some controversy set up the scene for a fantastic final in Las Vegas. Both teams fought out until the end, but the USMNT came out triumphant over their long-time rivals.
The match had countless opportunities for both teams to score the opening goal. Both Mexico and the US had clear-cut chances to get ahead of the scoring. Their goals remained untouched due to impressive performances from Matt Turner and Alfredo Talavera.
The game was leveled and leaned more towards Mexico in the first half. The US fixed their first-half mistakes and managed to overturn the pressure into Mexico’s defense, causing them to make mistakes. Those mistakes led to goal-scoring opportunities, which the US wasn’t able to capitalize on.
Ninety minutes wasn’t enough for either team to score; the match went on to an additional 30 minutes of game-time. Minutes nearing the end of the extra time and potential penalties looping in, a Kellyn Acosta cross into the box for Miles Robinson’s header was enough to open the score and give the US the lead.
"I'm happy we got the W. That's all I can say." 🇺🇸
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 2, 2021
With Robinson’s late header, the USMNT beat El Tri for the second time in a final after winning the Nations League in June. Thanks to Robinson’s goal, the US could reach glory after failing to win in 2019 against Mexico. Gregg Berhalter is now 2-2 when facing Gerardo “Tata” Martino in clashes between these two sides.
Berhalter took an inexperienced team to dispute the Gold Cup. Knowing most of the key players were resting for the World Cup Qualifiers, Berhalter’s team did not disappoint. One of the main reasons the US was successful in this tournament was Matt Turner.
New England Revolution’s Matt Turner put in great performances that allowed the team to keep five clean sheets. Allowing only a single goal against Martinique in the group stage, Turner consolidated himself to become a fantastic goalkeeper. Despite some mix-up with the defense, Turner could feature in these games and potentially receive a call-up in the qualifiers.
Another takeaway from their success was Kellyn Acosta’s performances. His consistent performances in all of his Gold Cup match appearances helped the US maintain the composure the team needed and solidified the midfield. His great cross in extra time led the US to win the tournament. Crosses like one on Sunday night were common during this Gold Cup. Performing constantly at a high level was key to Berhalter’s success in clinching the trophy.
Lastly, a youthful squad and eagerness to impress Berhalter was key to the team’s success. Having a team with nothing to lose was more than enough to get this group of players motivated to do great things. With great performances all around, it was hard to pull off anyone who didn’t perform well. A few things here and there happened, but nothing drastic enough to remove someone from the lineup. This group of players was playing against all odds, and by representing the so-called “B” team, they undoubtedly played like an “A” team in every game.
Following their Gold Cup achievement, Berhalter’s focus must shift quickly to the World Cup Qualifiers in September when the team travels to El Salvador. Although the next match-up against Mexico has not yet been determined, Berhalter has more than enough players to solidify and modify the group.
“We had a fantastic group in the Nations League that was able to win a trophy,” Berhalter said, “and to turn around and do it again with this group is a big accomplishment.”
Berhalter has a fantastic pool of players capable of getting the job done and not repeating the team’s failure in 2018.
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