The U.S. men’s national team went into the Concacaf Gold Cup final playing with house money, and made it clear throughout a hard-fought 120 minutes that they were determined to leave Las Vegas with a golden jackpot.
Miles Robinson’s 117th-minute header off a Kellyn Acosta assist delivered the winning goal in a 1-0 triumph over Mexico on Sunday night at Allegiant Stadium.
MILES ROBINSON IN THE 117TH MINUTE 😱
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 2, 2021
Robinson’s winner ended a tightly-contested battle that went back and fourth through the 90 minutes of regulation, and saw both teams waste chances, with Mexico struggling to cope with the U.S. team’s constant pressure.
Both teams saw chances go begging, with Paul Arriola missing on a pair of occasions and Orbelin Pineda squandering looks for Mexico.
The Americans were outshot and out-possessed, especially in the first half, but kept pressure on Mexico all match long, with Gregg Berhalter inserting a trio of substitutes in the 65th minute to inject fresh legs and smother a clearly-tiring El Tri squad.
The Americans very nearly suffered an early blunder that could have cost them dearly when Matt Turner was caught in possession in the second minute of the match. Turner reacted and got to the ball before anything dangerous occurred, though Mexican players shouted for a penalty call.
Turner responded to that shaky start with another strong performance in goal, including a game-saving diving stop to deny Rogelio Funes-Mori on what wound up being the best Mexican chance of the night for El Tri.
The chances dried up for Mexico in the second half as the Americans began taking control, showing more energy down the stretch, as Berhalter’s timing on his substitutions worked well to keep his team energized enough to play its high-pressing approach.
The Americans will be off for the rest of August before beginning Concacaf World Cup qualifying in September, starting with a trip to El Salvador on September 2.