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Mexico beat United States to clinch Gold Cup title

Mexico v United States Final - 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Mexico earned CONCACAF’s biggest prize after beating the United States 1-0 on Sunday. Jonathan dos Santos scored the only goal of the game in the 73rd minute to give Gerardo “Tata” Martino his first piece of silverware with the Mexico National Team.

The United States put Mexico under real pressure in the opening stages of the match, with Christian Pulisic forcing Guillermo Ochoa to an early save and Jozy Altidore coming within inches of capitalizing from an Hector Moreno mistake.

Mexico then pulled off their best first half effort when Andres Guardado appeared unmarked inside the box but the El Tri veteran lacked the necessary sharpness to put the ball past U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen.

It wasn’t exactly a smooth ride for El Tri, and in truth, the United States were the better them throughout the first half. In the 30th minute, they came close to taking the lead again when a miscommunication in the back led to Paul Arriola narrowly missing in front of an empty net.

In the second half, Mexico changed their plans with Rodolfo Pizarro and Uriel Antuna switching flanks. After an optimistic start from the United States in which Luis “Chaka” Rodriguez was forced to a goal-saving header, Martino’s adjustment appeared to have produced its first big moment when Raul Jimenez failed to get his foot on a dangerous Pizarro cross.

Minutes later, Jimenez once again failed to get his touch right inside the box as an Edson Alvarez pass went begging into the hands of Zack Steffen.

With Mexico now in complete control of the match, a back heel pass from Raul Jimenez fell for Jonathan dos Santos, who arrowed a shot into the crossbar and into the back of the net to put El Tri in front.

In the 86th minute, Guillermo Ochoa’s reliable display in goal was then put to the test when he parried away a Michel Bradley shot before Edson Alvarez denied the United States of a goalscoring chance from the ensuing rebound.

After surviving some late pressure from the United States, the final whistle went and Mexico were crowned champions of the Gold Cup for a historic eighth time, their second in four years.