USA Beat Mexico To Win CONCACAF Nations League Title

Gio Reyna and Tyler Adams scored as the United States defeated Mexico 2-0 in Sunday’s CONCACAF Nations League final, giving the Americans their third trophy in the tournament’s history.

Adams scored a long-range screamer in the 45th minute, and Reyna blasted home a loose ball from the edge of the box in the 63rd for the United States, which also won the Nations League 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 when US defender Antonee Robinson was ruled to have fouled Santiago Gimenez in the penalty area.

However, a video review overruled the decision, and Gimenez was instead given a yellow card for simulation, dampening the enthusiasm for a Mexican comeback.

Play was halted in the 86th minute and again in stoppage time as Mexican fans chanted discriminatory language, including a homophobic epithet, when the opposing goalie kicked the ball.

When the final whistle blew, the Americans had won the championship at Arlington, Texas, on the home turf 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 the previous two CONCACAF Nations League championships, defeating Mexico 3-2 in extra time in the 2021 inaugural title match and Canada 2-0 in last year’s final after defeating Mexico 3-0 in the semi-finals.

Mexico still leads the all-time series 37-24, with 17 ties, but the US men have extended their current unbeaten streak against Mexico in all competitions to a rivalry-best seven games, 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.

 

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