Photo by ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team entered the CONCACAF U-20 Championship final against Mexico having never won the entire tournament.
They still haven’t.
The U.S. suffered a 3-1 loss to their southern rivals in hard-fought match at Estadio Cuauhtemoc in Puebla that was decided in extra-time. Regulation had ended at 1-1 after both sides scored early goals, but Mexico won its 12th title in front of their home crowd through an 110th-minute strike from Julio Gomez. Jonathan Espericueta put the game out of reach three minutes later through a penalty kick.
Depleted in part by the departure of a handful of players, the Americans fell behind four minutes into the game after Jesus Manuel Corona beat U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper. The U.S. did not take long to respond, however.
Benji Joya pulled the visitors level in the 10th minute, converting a penalty kick that was earned after Hedgardo Marin was whistled for a handball.
As the game wore on, Tab Ramos’ men valiantly attempted to find a winner but it was evident that they were exhausted. The Americans came close to forcing penalty kicks but ultimately wore down enough to allow the Mexicans to score twice in a four-minute span in the second half of extra-time.
The U.S. and Mexico will now turn their sights towards this summer’s U-20 World Cup in Turkey, which starts on June 21.
What do you think of the U.S.’s 3-1 loss to Mexico in the CONCACAF U-20 Chanpionship final? Impressed with the overall tournament from the United States? Still have faith that this bunch of Americans can make noise in Turkey this summer?
Share your thoughts below.