Mexico won the Gold Cup after defeating their biggest rival, the United States, with a minimal result, 1-0. It was Jonathan dos Santos who decided this match, after 73 minutes of play.
Raul Jimenez perfectly assisted with a backheel pass, and dos Santos instantly reacted, putting the ball behind Zack Steffen who didn’t stand a chance against such a strike.
It turned out that this is the only goal in the entire match and the difference between the two sides.
But everything could have been different if Christian Pulisic and Jozy Altidore had a bit more luck and focus in the early phase of the game.
The home team opened the game very well, and these two guys had excellent opportunities to score. At first, it was Pulisic whose strike was saved by Ochoa, the best goalie of the tournament.
Shortly afterward, Altidore had an even better chance. The veteran striker stormed towards Mexico’s goal, avoiding all the defenders. Eventually, there was only Ochoa between him and the net, but the US player sent the ball wide.
“We’re close, but we weren’t there tonight,” Berhalter said. “We need to score a goal in the first half. We need to put more pressure on them to keep creating those chances.”
As time went by, the Mexican team slowly restored the balance of power on the Soldier Field, up until the moment when they started to control the tempo and the flow of the game.
It was obvious that El Tri has more experienced players who are playing together for a long time. According to coach Berhalter, that was one of the reasons for Mexico’s win. The 45-year old stated that USMNT has good quality, but at the moment they lack experience, and this clash was perfect for them to gain some.
“We need to learn,” he said. “We weren’t ready for this step tonight, but will be ready.”
“Was having more experienced players in these types of tournaments the determining factor?” Coach Gregg Berhalter answers pic.twitter.com/7f44W1axWP
— Fut Mex Nation (@FutMexNation) July 8, 2019
Berhalter also said that he doesn’t have anything to add about his team’s performance. They’ve done a good job, and he feels that this is a good foundation for the future. What was the most important thing for him, is that the team used the Gold Cup to develop and be better than at the start of the competition.
“Overall, I’m proud of the guys. I’m proud of the development this month.”
For the Mexicans, this is the 8th Gold Cup title, while the USA has six. After 2015 it is the first major success for this nation. It was evident right from the start that El Tri has the biggest chances of taking the trophy.
Not only because of the fantastic squad and all the big name in their team but also because they have Tata Martino. The Argentinian is a more experienced coach than Berhalter, who is still developing as one.
The domination of the Mexicans was confirmed after the match, when their players received awards for the best player and the best goalkeeper. Wolverhampton’s Raul Jimenez won the Golden Ball Award, while Ochoa received a Golden Glove award.
Meanwhile, the top goalscorer and the winner of the Golden Booth was Canada’s Jonathan David, a 19-year old striker who netted 6 times here.
The Americans won the Fair Play Award. Berhalter’s team received just three yellow cards during the entire tournament, making 70 fouls in total.
Christian Pulisic was named the Best Young Player of the tournament, and this is a clear sign that the US team has a bright future ahead.