USA beats Mexico 2-0 for CONCACAF Nations League title

USA beats Mexico 2-0 for CONCACAF Nations League title


Adams scored a long-distance screamer in the 45th minute

Follow on
Follow us on Google News

Dallas (AFP) – Gio Reyna and Tyler Adams scored as the United States beat Mexico 2-0 in Sunday's CONCACAF Nations League final, giving the Americans all three titles in the event's history.

Adams scored a long-distance screamer in the 45th minute and Reyna fired home a loose ball from the edge of the box in the 63rd for the USA, who also won Nations League crowns in 2021 and 2023.

"It never gets old winning titles for your country. I'll never take any of them for granted," Reyna said. "The group of guys and the energy we have, I always love coming to camp. I'm at a loss for words right now."

Reyna hoped the "Three-peat" would provide inspiration for competing in Copa America on home soil this summer against South America's top teams.

"It's big for momentum," he said. "We've been together with our core group now. We know what it takes to win big matches. "We can hopefully keep the momentum going into Copa America and maybe lift a trophy there."

The Mexicans appeared to have a lifeline into the match in the 73rd minute when a penalty was awarded after US defender Antonee Robinson was ruled to have fouled Santiago Gimenez in the penalty area.

But a video review overturned the decision and instead Gimenez was issued a yellow card for simulation, blunting the emotions for a Mexican fightback.

Play was halted in the 86th minute and twice more in stoppage time after Mexican fans yelled discriminatory language, a homophobic insult when the opposing goalkeeper kicked the ball.

When the final whistle finally came, the Americans had captured the crown at Arlington, Texas, on the home field of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys.

"Our goal this whole tournament was to advance and then get a chance to play in the final and win the final and we achieved it," US coach Gregg Berhalter said.

The Americans won both prior CONCACAF Nations League crowns, beating Mexico 3-2 in extra time in the 2021 inaugural championship match and Canada 2-0 in last year's final after dispatching Mexico 3-0 in last year's semi-finals.

Mexico still leads the all-time rivalry 37-24 with 17 drawn, but the US men stretched their current unbeaten streak against Mexico in all competitions to a rivalry-best seven matches with five wins and two draws.

"Whenever you don't achieve something, you have to learn from it," Mexico manager Jaime Lozano said. "They were better in almost everything, in quality, in pressure, in scoring options. They pressed us well and we couldn't find solutions.

"They're deserved winners and from these experiences we have to learn as much as possible and turn it around quickly."

The United States took the lead in the 45th when unguarded Adams took a pass from Wes McKennie and from blasted home a right-footed shot from 30 yards out giving no chance to diving Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

"I'm excited to be back with this group," said Adams, who has been plagued by injuries since the World Cup, "I always get up for big games." His only prior international goal also came against Mexico, in a 2018 friendly.

Mexico had frustrated the Americans much of the first half, shutting down passing lanes to contain the US attack with a pressuring physical performance.

US captain Christian Pulisic had only 15 touches in the first half, the standout striker largely thwarted by an aggressive Mexican defensive effort.

Adams out after 45

Adams was removed at half-time, a precautionary measure after two hamstring surgeries and a missed year at club level, having seen only brief action for AFC Bournemouth.

"He's so important to the team," Reyna said. "He was on a minutes restriction or I would have loved to have seen more from him."

Reyna's goal came after Pulisic fired the ball from the back line into traffic in the heart of the area. Wright deflected the bouncing ball out to Reyna, whose right-footed bolt zipped into the net.

Dexter Lembikisa's goal in the 42nd minute gave Jamaica a 1-0 victory over Panama in the third-place match.