Mexico claimed their eighth CONCACAF Gold Cup title with an entertaining 1-0 win over the United States in the final on Sunday.

Jonathan dos Santos was the hero with the 73rd-minute winner at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Dos Santos took his chance excellently in a game during which USA squandered theirs, with Christian Pulisic and Jozy Altidore missing early opportunities.

Jordan Morris also had a header cleared off the line before Dos Santos' winner came after a period of dominance by Gerardo Martino's men.

USA made a brilliant start and created two great chances in the opening eight minutes.

The first opportunity fell to Pulisic, who was denied in a one-on-one by Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa after being set up by Altidore.

Altidore should have opened the scoring for USA soon after, but he scuffed an effort wide after a wonderful change of direction on the edge of the area.

Mexico responded and almost took the lead through Andres Guardado, who blazed over from inside the area under heavy pressure from Paul Arriola.

In what was a frantic end-to-end first half, Arriola fired another decent chance wide for USA from inside the area.

USA continued to enjoy the better opportunities to begin the second half, with Morris' 51st-minute header from a corner cleared off the line by Guardado.

Mexico were much-improved after that chance, enjoying a good period that included Jesus Gallardo directing a 25-yard volley straight at USA goalkeeper Zack Steffen in the 68th minute.

And they capitalised on their period of dominance with the opener just five minutes later through Dos Santos' third international goal.

A fine move down the right led to Raul Jimenez back-heeling a pass into the path of Dos Santos, whose excellent left-footed effort went in via the underside of the crossbar from just inside the area.

That would prove to be enough for Mexico as they saw out the closing stages to secure the title.

What does it mean? Mexico pull clear

While USA had the better of the chances, Mexico's win marked their eighth Gold Cup crown. That moved them two titles clear of USA, who have won six.

Martino delivers for Mexico

Mexico impressed after Martino took charge in January, although their performances in the knockout stage of the Gold Cup never reached any great heights. Still, the Argentinian helped deliver the title for Mexico.

USA left to rue missed chances

The hosts dominated long periods without capitalising and they were made to pay. Pulisic and Altidore missed good chances and Morris had another cleared off the line, while Mexico saw their period of dominance capped off with Dos Santos' winner.

What's next?

USA are looking ahead to the CONCACAF Nations League in October, while Mexico will face Argentina in a friendly in September.

Mexico head coach Gerardo Martino said United States star Christian Pulisic is "one of the most unsettling players" he has seen ahead of Sunday's CONCACAF Gold Cup final.

All eyes will be on Pulisic when defending champions USA and rivals Mexico meet in the tournament decider at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Pulisic – set to link up with Premier League giants Chelsea after agreeing a €64million transfer from Borussia Dortmund in January – scored twice against Jamaica to send USA through to the final.

And Mexico boss Martino singled out Pulisic pre-game, praising the in-form 20-year-old attacker by telling reporters: "I think Christian Pulisic is one of the greatest emerging players in world football in this era, without doubt.

"He's one of the most unsettling players I've seen in recent times. And I believe that if tomorrow we don't give him special attention, above all when we are attacking, then we won't do well.

"He's a player we have to give a lot of attention because he can decide a game on his own."

Pulisic has scored three goals and registered as many assists during the Gold Cup and USA coach Gregg Berhalter added: "When I think about this month for him it’s been a lot of personal development in terms of him blossoming with his personality within the group, his importance to the team on the field.

"The skills haven't changed from a month ago, but in terms of his role, what he's comfortable with, how he's embracing his role within the team, and his role on and off the field, I think it's been really nice to see.

"The most important thing we've focused on is giving Christian flexibility, putting him in position where he could affect the game in a number of different ways. We wanted to play him central, but also get him wide. When you think about him being central, arriving in the penalty box, the two goals [against Jamaica] were a result of him being in good positions to be able to finish off plays that end up in front of goal. 

"When you think about some of the assists he’s had they've come in wide areas, notably against Curacao. With Christian we know he's a top talent and we want to get him into position to affect the game. We know he can affect the game on an individual level, and he's shown that so far in the tournament." 

Jamaica Head Coach Theodore Whitmore had nothing but respect for both the United States and Jamaica after a wild night at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.  

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. 

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.

Jozy Altidore's second-half goal saw the United States overcome Panama 1-0 to complete a perfect group-stage campaign at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Altidore's overhead kick in the 66th minute gave USA a third win from as many games in Group D, securing top spot and a quarter-final clash against Curacao.

USA made 11 changes to their starting line-up and it showed, but Altidore – having squandered two great chances earlier – stepped up to secure three points in Kansas City.

While they were unconvincing, Gregg Berhalter's USA did enough to complete the perfect group-stage campaign.

USA made a lively start as they pushed for an opening goal and it almost came through Altidore in the 16th minute.

After Panama turned over possession, Jordan Morris played in Altidore, but the striker pulled his shot wide from an angle from inside the area.

Altidore squandered another chance five minutes later, the striker putting a tame shot straight at Panama goalkeeper Jose Calderon after a Cristian Roldan cutback.

Jonathan Lewis was denied by an excellent Fidel Escobar block, while Jose Fajardo fired wide for Panama on the counter-attack six minutes before half-time.

Both teams struggled to begin the second half, leading to the introduction of USA star Christian Pulisic just after the hour-mark.

The opener followed for USA after a corner as Altidore scored his 42nd international goal.

The set-piece went uncleared and some poor defending from Panama led to Altidore producing an overhead kick from close range to make it 1-0.

That was all USA needed, closing out a narrow victory as neither side created much of note in the closing stages.

 

What does it mean? Job done for USA

USA simply needed to avoid defeat to secure top spot and the easier quarter-final clash, avoiding Jamaica. Berhalter's side got the job done despite what was an unconvincing display.

Changes could hurt USA

USA were beginning to find rhythm in wins over Guyana (4-0) and Trinidad and Tobago (6-0). Still, Berhalter opted to rest what is seemingly his preferred team and it remains to be seen whether that was the right decision.

Altidore goal not enough

The Toronto striker scored, but he also missed two chances in the first half. That is unlikely to be enough to earn him a start ahead of Gyasi Zardes, who has three goals at the tournament.

What's next?

Both teams will play in Philadelphia on Sunday. USA take on Curacao, while Panama face Jamaica.

Defending champions the United States advanced to the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarter-finals after routing Trinidad and Tobago 6-0 in Group D on Saturday.

USA infamously lost to Trinidad and Tobago in 2017 as they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup but Gregg Berhalter's men exacted some revenge against the Soca Warriors in Cleveland.

Aaron Long headed home a 41st-minute opener before a five-goal second half, with Gyasi Zardes' quick-fire brace, and Christian Pulisic, Paul Arriola and the former leading to the USA to back-to-back wins following their 4-0 demolition of Guyana.

USA started the match with pace and purpose, but they were unable to create any real clear-cut chances in the first 30 minutes.

But after Khaleem Hyland's warning shot for Trinidad and Tobago on the counter, Zardes' header across the six-yard box almost picked out Arriola.

In control for much of an end-to-end opening half, New York Red Bulls defender Long did break the deadlock four minutes prior to the interval after being picked out by Pulisic's teasing cross.

USA pushed forward and peppered the Trinidad and Tobago goal without success, while their opponents managed to keep Zack Steffen relatively busy in a high-octane second half.

After Marvin Phillip produced a stunning save to thwart Arriola from point-blank range, Zardes popped up to all but extinguish Trinidad and Tobago's hopes in the 66th minute when he finished a simple tap in from Nick Lima's cushioned header.

Zardes was at it again three minutes later after curling home his second thanks to Pulisic, who drifted past two defenders and slid in his team-mates, and the Columbus Crew forward nearly had his hat-trick but was denied by the woodwork and Philipp.

Trinidad and Tobago capitulated during the closing stages as Morris teed up Pulisic and Arriola to put an exclamation mark on the result, while Long added a sixth at the death.

 

What does it mean? USA into quarters

The United States' title defence is firmly on track. With 10 goals in two games and back-to-back clean sheets, a second successive Gold Cup trophy does not look out of reach.

Chelsea-bound Pulisic dazzles

Pulisic showed by Chelsea splashed the cash to prise him away from Borussia Dortmund. The 20-year-old attacker was lively throughout, scoring a goal and setting up two others.

Soca Warriors lose their way

Trinidad and Tobago went toe-to-toe with USA up until the hour mark. After that point, they were put to the sword by a merciless opponent, who could have won by more.

What's next?

USA close out their group-stage campaign against Panama in Kansas City on Wednesday, while Trinidad and Tobago face Guyana on the same day.

The United States started their CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign with a comfortable 4-0 win over Guyana on Tuesday.

USA ended a three-game winless run in fine fashion, dominating Guyana for the most part in the Group D clash at Allianz Field in Minnesota.

Paul Arriola opened the scoring in the 28th minute before a Tyler Boyd brace and Gyasi Zardes goal in the second half.

Having been under some pressure after struggles in friendlies, it was the ideal start for the defending champions as they joined Panama on three points in the group.

Christian Pulisic was particularly bright down the left early for USA, who while dominant took time to create clear-cut chances.

Boyd fired a chance wide in the 18th minute, while Pulisic was denied by a good save from Guyana goalkeeper Akel Clarke.

But USA found a deserved opener through Arriola in the 28th minute.

Weston McKennie did brilliantly down the left before passing inside to Arriola, who curled an effort past Clarke and into the far corner from inside the area.

Pulisic almost teed up Nick Lima for USA's second, but the full-back's strike was well saved by Clarke after a pass from the attacker.

USA should have gone into the break with a 2-0 lead, however Pulisic made poor connection with a header from a Lima cross at the back post on the stroke of half-time.

But Boyd's first international goal would double USA's lead six minutes into the second half.

Michael Bradley's pass found Boyd, who took an excellent first touch before powering an angled finish into the bottom corner for USA's 1,000th goal.

Zardes was fortunate to add to USA's lead, Arriola's powerful strike partially cleared by a defender into the forward's face and into the back of the net.

USA were in control from then on, although McKennie came off with a suspected hamstring injury.

Boyd completed his brace in the 81st minute, taking a pass from Arriola before his 20-yard strike took a deflection and beat Clarke.

 

What does it mean? USA make bright start

After disappointing friendly losses to Jamaica and Venezuela earlier this month, USA's win was much-needed. Large parts of the performance would have also pleased head coach Gregg Berhalter and the group stage at the CONCACAF Gold Cup could be an opportunity for a much-needed confidence boost.

Boyd, Arriola provide plenty of spark

Although it was against Guyana, Boyd and Arriola showed their worth. They combined for the fourth goal after earlier scoring one each and their pace and creativity were crucial for USA.

McKennie injury a worry for USA

It was all going so well for USA before McKennie came off with a suspected hamstring injury in the 74th minute. The Schalke midfielder had set up the opener and his absence would be a blow for USA.

What's next?

USA's campaign continues against Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday, while Guyana take on Panama on the same day.

Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Alvin Jones, the player whose lethal long-range bullet led to the end of perennial powerhouses United States’ FIFA World Cup campaign, admits he is looking forward to a reunion in the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup.

T&T and the United States will face off in Group D of the tournament, which also includes Guyana and Panama.  The teams are set to face off at the FirstEnergy Stadium, in Cleveland on June 22.

Jones dramatically scored the first goal in a 2-1 win for T&T, which eliminated heavy favourites the United States from World Cup qualification.  The result sent shockwaves across the region and around the world.

“The last time we played the US we defeated them 2-1.  We have a better team at the moment.  We aren’t taking them lightly, we know they are home and it will be a very important game in the group stage.  For me personally, we take it game by game and when we reach the US we know it will be a challenging game.”

“We just have to take it game by game.  We just have to go for the win and I think six points is enough to go through.”

The United States are the competition’s defending champions.

 

Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner has inched closer to extradition to the United States, where he will face charges of corruption, after seeing his appeal dismissed by a Trinidad and Tobago court.

On Tuesday, a three-man appellate court panel dismissed the case put forward by the former CONCACAF boss.  In the suit filed on his behalf, Warner questioned the procedure adopted by the Office of the Attorney General in signing the request for his extradition made in May 2015.

Warner had also challenged the legality of the Extradition (Commonwealth and Foreign Territories) Act, and the treaty signed between Trinidad and Tobago and the US.  In the 40-page ruling issued on Tuesday, however, the justices did not find the extradition request to be in violation of the Act.

“Therefore, the pending extradition proceedings in respect of the appellant before the magistrate are valid,” the judges held, adding that “there was no denial of justice in the issuance of the authority to proceed by the Attorney General.”

The proceedings have, however, been halted for 21 days pending an application from Warner’s legal team to take the issue to the Privy Council.  Warner, who is currently on $TT 2.5m bail, is wanted for a series of fraud-related offences associated with his time as an official of FIFA.

Shamar Nicholson's long-range stunner saw Jamaica upstage the United States 1-0 ahead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

In a rematch of the 2017 Gold Cup final won by USA, Jamaica emerged triumphant courtesy of Nicholson's first international goal at Audi Field on Wednesday.

Nicholson came off the bench and beat Zack Steffen with a memorable strike from outside the penalty area in Washington as both teams stepped up their preparations for the upcoming tournament.

Playing without Chelsea-bound star Christian Pulisic as head coach Gregg Berhalter gave players a chance to stake their Gold Cup claims, USA made a strong start but struggled afterwards.

USA put Jamaica, who had Bayer Leverkusen star Leon Bailey among the substitutes, on the backfoot during the early exchanges – the hosts enjoying success down the right side.

However, Jamaica eventually settled into their rhythm as the half petered out, with neither team creating any clear-cut chances.

Jamaica looked the more likely to score as the match wore on after Peter-Lee Vassell almost broke the deadlock with a curling effort in the 56th minute.

But Jamaica got the goal they deserved thanks to substitute Nicholson in memorable fashion four minutes later.

Nicholson cut inside and back out again before firing a stunning long-range shot past Steffen, who is set to join Manchester City before reportedly heading to Fortuna Dusseldorf on loan.

 

What does it mean? Unbeaten run over

USA's undefeated streak under Berhalter came to a halt. After wins against Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador, and a draw with Chile, Jamaica stopped the run. Fortunately for Berhalter and USA, it comes prior to the Gold Cup.

Relax… Berhalter experimenting

USA fans, it is not so bad. While a loss is unwanted, it comes as Berhalter experimented with his starting line-up ahead of the midnight deadline for the Gold Cup roster. He will have a clearer picture of who to include in the 23-man squad.

Lack of ideas

While it was a chance to try new things, the manner in which USA faded would have frustrated Berhalter. After an impressive and high-octane start, the home nation were outplayed and struggled to keep up with Jamaica at times.

What's next?

USA will conclude their Gold Cup preparations against Venezuela on Sunday before the country's tournament opener against Guyana on June 18. Meanwhile, Jamaica will next play Honduras on June 17 – their first match of the Gold Cup.

The United States kicked off the IAAF World Relays Yokohama 2019 with a bang on Saturday (11), producing convincing victories in the competition’s two newest events. 

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association has described the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group D as an interesting one.

Page 5 of 7
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.