Defending champions the United States set up a blockbuster CONCACAF Gold Cup final against rivals Mexico after beating Jamaica 3-1.

Goals from Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic sent USA through to Sunday's decider following a weather-interrupted semi-final in Nashville.

After McKennie's early opener, Wednesday's game was stopped for one-and-a-half hours due to lightning, but USA were not to be denied when the clash resumed in the 16th minute, with Pulisic doubling the lead seven minutes into the second half.

USA did concede their first goal of the tournament as Jamaica substitute Shamar Nicholson set up a nervy finale with 21 minutes remaining but Pulisic capitalised on another rebound to make sure of the result in the 87th minute.

It was a rematch of the 2017 final won by a Bruce Arena-led USA and the hosts burst out of the blocks and were relentless in attack, with Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake preventing a certain goal by somehow denying Paul Arriola from point-blank range in the fourth minute.

But USA were not to be denied five minutes later as Bradley picked out Reggie Cannon before Jozy Altidore laid the ball onto the oncoming McKennie, who fired past Blake.

However, USA's momentum was abruptly halted by a lengthy delay due to serve weather in 16th minute and the temporary suspension aided Jamaica.

Jamaica emerged from the delay with renewed energy and looked far more threatening, while the United States were disjoined and lacked rhythm.

The half-time interval provided USA with the chance to regroup and the Americans did just that as they moved 2-0 ahead through Chelsea-bound Pulisic in the 52nd minute.

Morris latched onto a McKennie pass and managed to get a shot off, with Blake only parried the ball straight into the path of Pulisic, who tucked away the rebound.

After Gyasi Zardes wasted a great chance for USA, Jamaica's Nicholson headed a Leon Bailey cross into the net to pull a goal back for the 2015 and 2017 runners-up, only for Pulisic to pounce on another rebound with three minutes remaining.

 

Another final for USA

After the pain of missing the 2018 World Cup, USA's rebuild under Berhalter continues to gather pace. Mexico stand in the way of back-to-back Gold Cup triumphs in the first final showdown between the nations since 2011.

Bradley, McKennie impress

It was a fine team display by USA. Not short of critics, veteran midfielder Bradley was cool and calm in possession with his passing a clear highlight. Schalke's McKennie, meanwhile, showed why he is so highly rated with a goal and a couple of defence-splitting balls.

Jamaica can hold heads high

For much of the game, Jamaica were outclassed. But the Reggae Boyz, despite limited resources compared to their USA counterparts, made it tough for the six-time champions just like they did in the 2017 final.

What's next?

USA will look to retain their crown again Mexico in Chicago on Sunday, while Jamaica can look ahead to the CONCACAF Nations League – starting against Antigua and Barbuda on September 6.

United States Manager Gregg Berhalter has plenty of respect for his team’s opposition in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Semifinals. It was none other than Jamaica who beat the U.S. 1-0 in a pre-tournament friendly in Washington D.C. back on June 5.

“We’ve been watching them and it’s a good team,” Berhalter said. “We see similarities in the way they played in Washington to the way they’ve been playing in this tournament.”

Berhalter broke down some of his studies on the Jamaica team.

“We know they’re not afraid to play for second balls,” said the coach. “They’ve got wingers coming inside to win second balls. They’ve got some good physicality and quality up top, with attacking midfielders who support the play.”

“They’ve got good counter-attacking quality, good speed up front, and a robust backline,” Berhalter continued. “We’ve been really looking at how we can break them down and do it efficiently.”

The U.S. and Jamaica have matched up in the semifinals or the final in the last two editions of the tournament, a 2-1 win for Jamaica in the 2015 Semifinal in Atlanta and a 2-1 win for the U.S. in the 2017 Final in Santa Clara, California.

Jozy Altidore, who scored one of the great Gold Cup goals in that 2017 Final, has played just once in this 2019 tournament. Berhalter was asked about Altidore’s status going into the semifinal.

“Jozy’s exactly where we need him to be,” Berhalter said.

When asked if that meant he was ready to play on Wednesday, Berhalter replied, “He’s been ready to play.”

Berhalter then concluded by saying that he already has his mind made up as far as his starting eleven against Jamaica is concerned.

The semifinal between the U.S. and Jamaica kicks off at 9:30 ET on Wednesday night at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.

The United States will take on Jamaica at Nissan Stadium in Nashville on Wednesday night for a spot in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Final. 

Mexico's journey to the Gold Cup final has been fuelled by "screaming, encouraging" supporters whose numbers have surprised the players, according to technical director Jorge Theiler.

It took a Raul Jimenez penalty in extra-time to clinch Mexico's place in the final at Haiti's expense, and Theiler – in control of the team in the absence of suspended coach Gerardo Martino – said the Wolves striker was indebted to El Tri's fans for driving him on.

Mexico will face either the United States or Jamaica in the final in Chicago on Sunday, and Theiler said Martino will demand another high-intensity performance from his players.

"The people of Mexico in all stadiums is admirable. We draw attention because the amount of people who fill the stadiums and the fervour they give to the games," Theiler told reporters.

"This gives the players extra incentive; Raul seemed tired for a moment, but he reinvented himself and was still running at the end and that is what the fans who are supporting, screaming and encouraging want us to do.

"It has been a nice surprise, and it does not happen in all parts of the world - it happens in the United States and Mexico."

Jimenez's goal was the 15th in five Gold Cup matches for Mexico, who have seen off the challenge of Cuba, Canada, Martinique and Costa Rica as well as Haiti.

Martino will take the reins in Sunday's final, where Mexico hope to lift the Gold Cup for a record 11th time but will first have to overcome either holders USA or 2017 runners-up Jamaica.

"From here to Sunday's game there will be a lot of rest," said Theiler.

"We have five days to limit the amount of wear and tear that comes with training, so there will be many videos, talks and correcting the things we have done wrong today and strengthening all the good things we did.

"The intention is for the boys to arrive well for Sunday's final. The intensity of the matches is great, because Gerardo Martino's style is constant pressure and attack and that is why the players are worn out.

"The objective is to arrive in good condition on Sunday, so that the team can perform at their best."

Mexico needed a contentious penalty from Raul Jimenez to edge past Haiti 1-0 after extra time in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals.

With suspended coach Gerardo Martino watching on from the stands at State Farm Stadium, Mexico were frustrated by the minnows on Tuesday.

They were unable to create much of note through 90 minutes, but found a breakthrough early in extra time through a Jimenez penalty.

After a soft spot-kick was awarded, Jimenez stepped up to send 10-time champions Mexico into the decider.

Mexico struggled to create clear-cut chances throughout the first half as Haiti defended desperately.

Roberto Alvarado fired a decent opportunity wide in the 10th minute before Jimenez put an effort over the crossbar from close range.

Haiti were well-organised and frustrated Mexico, who struggled to put shots on target in the opening 45 minutes.

Jesus Gallardo and Jonathan dos Santos missed the target with efforts, while Jimenez forced a relatively comfortable save from Johny Placide with a 35th-minute header.

Haiti also had their moments, threatening early in the second half as Frantzdy Pierrot fired wide on the turn in the 49th minute.

Andres Guardado was the next to threaten for Mexico, his curling 20-yard free-kick tipped over by Placide, whose last-ditch tackle later denied substitute Uriel Antuna.

Forced to extra time, Mexico finally found their breakthrough in somewhat controversial fashion through Jimenez.

The forward went down in the area under the slightest contact, before stepping up to convert from the penalty spot.

Haiti's brave effort went to the end as they almost stunningly equalised in the 119th minute, Mikael Cantave's 20-yard strike hitting the crossbar with Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa beaten, while Luis Montes missed an open goal at the other end.

 

What does it mean? Mexico's struggles continue

Martino's men looked in fine form leading into the tournament and again to open the Gold Cup. However, they have battled to wins over Martinique, Costa Rica and Haiti in recent matches.

Jimenez delivering for Mexico

The forward was the most threatening for Mexico and won and converted the match-winning penalty for his fifth goal of the tournament. Jimenez has now scored in three straight games for Mexico.

Haiti almost cause a shock

This was quite the performance by Haiti. The minnows, who stunned Canada in the quarter-finals, sat relatively deep and frustrated Mexico for long periods, only to be undone by the extra-time penalty.

What's next?

Mexico will face either the United States or Jamaica in the final in Chicago on Sunday, while Haiti look ahead to the CONCACAF Nations League starting in September.

Experienced campaigner Darren Mattocks held his nerve from the penalty spot to book Jamaica’s place in the semi-final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup as they triumphed 1-0 over Panama in a battle of attrition at the Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.

In a game that saw few quality chances created by either side, Mattocks came off the bench to first win the spot kick and then convert it in the 75th minute, sending Jamaica through to the final four for a third consecutive tournament.  Only minutes after on to the field Mattocks headed a hopeful long ball into the area off the outstretched arm of defender Michael Murillo.

After a brief dispute over who would take the spot kick, the forward wrested the ball away before placing it on the spot and firing past Panama goalkeeper Luis Mejia.  The goal was Mattock’s fifth overall in the competition.  With defenders dominating the play for most of the afternoon, Panama had missed a golden opportunity to take the lead when  Abdiel Arroyo broke through on goal but blasted a shot into the side netting at the near post from close range in the 26th minute.

The result will mean the Jamaicans will face the United States in the next round after the defending champions narrowly got by Curacao 1-0 in the day’s other game.

The United States edged into the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals with a 1-0 win over Curacao in Philadelphia on Sunday.

Weston McKennie's first-half header lifted USA past the minnows in their quarter-final clash at Lincoln Financial Field.

The defending champions were comfortable for long periods, with McKennie getting on the end of a Christian Pulisic cross for the game's only goal.

The result saw USA reach the semi-finals of the tournament for the 10th straight time.

USA started well as Pulisic went close twice in the opening four minutes.

The attacker fired wide after a driving run before then being denied by Curacao goalkeeper Eloy Room, who made a superb save to tip over a Pulisic effort from close range after Paul Arriola's cross from the left.

Curacao managed to settle after the early scares, but USA found a deserved opener through McKennie's second international goal.

Pulisic cut in from the left before clipping a cross to the back post, where McKennie headed in.

While USA appeared to be in control, Curacao threatened at different times, with defender Darryl Lachman heading a corner over three minutes before half-time.

USA made a slow start to the second half before Pulisic almost doubled their lead, shooting just wide from the edge of the area.

However, Curacao looked the more dangerous of the two teams throughout the second half, while Gyasi Zardes blazed over the crossbar for USA in the 79th minute.

Curacao continued to enjoy periods in possession late on, with Leandro Bacuna almost scoring a stunning equaliser in the 84th minute, his 25-yard effort wonderfully saved by Zack Steffen.

 

What does it mean? Repeat of 2017 decider set

Jamaica have been runners-up at the past two editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup and shape as a threat to USA in the last four. Jordan Morris scored a late winner in the 2017 final between the nations.

Pulisic shines in home state

The Chelsea attacker was bright from the outset in his home state of Pennsylvania. Pulisic set up McKennie's goal and was a constant threat for USA, going close on numerous occasions.

USA continue to stand up defensively

USA's defensive work could be what makes them CONCACAF Gold Cup favourites, given Mexico's struggles in the past two games. USA are yet to concede in four games at the tournament while scoring 12 times.

What's next?

USA will face Jamaica in a semi-final in Nashville on Wednesday, while Curacao can look forward to the CONCACAF Nations League starting in September.

History was made on Saturday night in Houston, with Haiti qualifying for a Concacaf Gold Cup semifinal for the first time in its history after rallying from a two-goal deficit to defeat Canada 3-2 in the quarterfinals.

It made for a very emotional post-game setting for Haiti at the final whistle.

“To be honest, I cried. I was crying and then I got jumped on. It just feels amazing, I could not be happier than this,” said Haiti MF Steeven Saba to Concacaf.com following the match.

“We were down 2-0, we hung in there just like in the group stages. In the second half, we had to put it all out there, take risks and we got what we wanted. We got the win and we could not be happier.”

The victory also set off scenes of joy and celebration back home in the streets of Haiti.

For Saba and his teammates, to deliver this win and leave a smile on the face of every Haitian is a memory they will always cherish.

“To be honest, it’s incredible. It means the world to us because I know what’s going on down there in Haiti. I got really emotional after the game because that’s how much it means to us, to the entire team,” said Saba.

Next up for Haiti is a semifinal date with seven-time Gold Cup champions with Mexico on Tuesday in Phoenix.

While Les Grenadiers greatly respect El Tricolor and all that it has accomplished in the region, Haiti will go into that contest ready to battle like always.

“We’re fighters, we’re all warriors. Coming from Haiti, we’re always fighting and we are going to keep fighting. I respect everyone in this group, I love everyone in this group, we’re all a family and we could not be happier. 

“I respect Mexico, but I’ll say that we are not afraid of anyone. We’re fighters and where we come from that’s what we do,” concluded Saba.

Guillermo Ochoa made the decisive save to earn Mexico a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Costa Rica following a 1-1 draw in their 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal on Saturday night at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

With El Tricolor leading 5-4 in the shootout, the veteran stopper dived to his right to save Keysher Fuller’s attempt, sending Mexico to the Gold Cup semifinals.

It was not until the 44’ that Mexico had a good look at goal and Raul Jimenez did not waste the chance, as he collected a Rodolfo Pizarro pass and finished past Costa Rica GK Leonel Moreira for a 1-0 lead.

The Ticos looked to strike right back at the beginning of the second stanza and after a foul on Joel Campbell in the area, Bryan Ruiz coolly converted the spot kick to bring Costa Rica level 1-1.

Things stood on a knife’s edge entering the final half-hour and Mexico looked set to take a late lead, only for Carlos Rodriguez to hit the crossbar in the 86’.

In extra time, the Ticos had the best chance through Jonathan McDonald, but Ochoa was alert and made the save.

Things had to be settled in penalty kicks, and ultimately Mexico emerged victorious, as Carlos Salcedo converted the fifth and final penalty before Ochoa’s save on Fuller.

Haiti stunned Canada 3-2 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarter-finals in a huge upset in Houston on Saturday.

The minnows looked set for an expected defeat when they fell 2-0 behind inside 30 minutes at NRG Stadium.

Jonathan David's powerful finish and Lucas Cavallini's goal had Canada, who finished second to Mexico in Group A, on track.

But Haiti remarkably turned the game around in the second half to reach their first CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-final.

Duckens Nazon dispossessed Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan to pull a goal back before Herve Bazile converted a 70th-minute penalty.

The turnaround was complete when Wilde-Donald Guerrier got on the end of a beautiful Nazon pass to put Haiti ahead six minutes later, sealing an incredible win.

Haiti will face either Mexico or Costa Rica in the semi-finals on Tuesday.

Long-time rivals Mexico and Costa Rica are set to clash in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup quarterfinals on Saturday night at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

The contest marks the eighth meeting between the two teams in a Gold Cup, with Mexico leading the series with five wins and two draws.

Buoyed by FWs Raul Jimenez (3 goals) and Uriel Antuna (4), plus MF Andres Guardado (2), Mexico rolls into the knockout stage having posted its first perfect group stage record in a Gold Cup since 2011 with wins over Cuba, Canada and Martinique in Group A, in which El Tricolor scored 13 goals and conceded just three.

Costa Rica is no stranger to Mexico in the Gold Cup quarterfinals, as the two faced off four years ago in the 2015 edition, with Mexico winning 1-0 in the final minute of extra time courtesy of a Guardado penalty conversion.

Costa Rica will look for a different ending after a second-place finish in Group B with a 2W-0D-1L record.

Six different players have scored for the Ticos, with Elias Aguilar leading the way with two goals.

With so much history between the two sides, another Concacaf classic will surely be on the docket.

The first of the four 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup quarterfinals will kick off when Haiti takes on Canada on Saturday evening at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. 

Trinidad and Tobago coach Dennis Lawrence remained upbeat after his team’s exit from the CONCACAF Gold Cup despite coming out of the tournament without a win. 

Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago played to a 1-1 draw at Children’s Mercy Park on Wednesday night in a Caribbean derby in Kansas City in which Guyana picked up a historical first ever point in a Gold Cup. 

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