July 26, 2009
Mexico routs U.S., 5-0, in Gold Cup final
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ---It took only 34 minutes for Mexico to wipe away 10 years of frustration and humiliation Sunday.
|Jay Heaps fouls Gio Dos Santos in front of the goal to set up Gerardo Torrado’s 56th-minute penalty kick.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Buoyed by five second-half goals during that span, the Mexicans registered a 5-0 victory over the U.S. at the CONCACAF Gold Cup final before 79,156 partisan fans at Giants Stadium.
The last time the Americans lost to Mexico on U.S. soil was in San Diego, a 2-1 result on March 13, 1999. Since then the U.S. enjoyed a 9-0-2 advantage, limiting the Mexicans to only three goals.
Of course, the Americans will remind the Mexicans they weren't using their A team that finished second at the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa last month, essentially utilizing a side that was relatively inexperienced internationally. The Mexicans used five starters from their full squad Sunday, the Americans one -- Brian Ching.
These two teams will meet again in a much bigger confrontation -- an Aug. 12 World Cup qualifier in Mexico City that the Mexicans desperately need to win to stay alive.
The Mexicans struck quickly over a 34-minute span in the second half to turn a rather bland scoreless tie into a rout.
The wheels started to fall off the U.S. wagon in the 56th minute when Mexican captain Gerardo Torrado converted a penalty kick into the upper right past goalkeeper Troy Perkins after defender Jay Heaps dragged down Giovani Dos Santos in the penalty area.
The goal and lead certainly emboldened the Mexicans, who used three counterattacks to pad their lead.
First it was Dos Santos converting a rebound of a Miguel Sabah shot in the 62nd minute. Second half substitute Carlos Vela set up Sabah, whose shot was saved by Troy Perkins. The ball came to Dos Santos, who slipped it home from close range.
Only five minutes later, Vela came down the left side on a counterattack and chipped the ball to the far right post for a 3-0 advantage.
The Mexicans made it 4-0 in the 79th minute as Jose Antonio Castro converted yet another counter from 12 yards.
The visitors closed out the scoring in the 90th minute as Guillermo Franco struck from the top of the penalty area.
The first half wasn't very much to boast about as both teams had problems solving the opposition's midfield and backline.
Aside from midfielder Stuart Holden's long-range shot that traveled wide right in the 28th minute, the American first-half highlights were a pair of yellow cards.
Defender Jay Heaps was slapped with a yellow by referee Courtney Campbell (Jamaica) after his rough tackle on Alberto Medina in the 24th minute.
Only three minutes later, U.S. midfielder Logan Pause saw yellow after he shot into the net after an offside ruling against the Americans.
The U.S. enjoyed a decisive corner kick advantage in the first half, but could not convert on any of its chances.
The Americans' most memorable corner kick turned into an injury for central defender Clarence Goodson after he headed a shot over the goal line in the 15th minute. It appeared he had sustained some kind of head injury, but he quickly returned to action.