SOCCER

USMNT Defeats Mexico In Inaugural Nations League Final

Jun 6, 2021, 11:11 PM | Updated: 11:18 pm
DeAndre Yedlin #22 of the United States and Hector Herrera #16 of Mexico battle during the CONCACAF...
DeAndre Yedlin #22 of the United States and Hector Herrera #16 of Mexico battle during the CONCACAF Nations League Championship final at Mile High on June 6, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The USMNT beat Mexico 3-2 in extra time to produce an iconic inaugural Nations League Final.

The match got off to a flying start when Mexico capitalized on a giveaway from the backline of the USMNT and scored the game’s opening goal in the second minute.

A third international goal from Gio Reyna was needed to get the hosts back into the contest. The star winger tapped in a deflected header off the post to equalize in the 27th minute.

Opening First-Half Goals

The opening half an hour was entertaining, to say the least.

Both teams went into the halftime interval feeling energized by the manner in which they played through the first 45 minutes. But both teams also knew that the level of soccer could and would be elevated in the second half.

The match found its groove throughout the opening half an hour of the second half.

Weston Mckennie Responds

Then, in the 79th minute, Mexico flipped the game on its head when Diego Lainez found the back of the net. Lainez had only been on the pitch for one minute after entering the game as a substitute.

Three minutes later the USMNT responded and scored their second goal of the game. Coincidentally, the USMNT scored from a corner kick for the second time in the game. Weston Mckennie put the ball past a reaching Ochoa in goal and leveled the contest with just five minutes of regular time remaining.

After relying on overtime to gift the fans around the world a winning team, America’s loved one; Christian Pulisic gave the USMNT the go-ahead goal from the penalty spot in the 114th minute. A superb finish from Pulisic.

Remarkably, Mexico missed a penalty in the 121st minute of the game. Horvath guessed correctly and palmed the ball away diving to his bottom right.

Throughout the course of the game, both goalkeepers came up big for their teams. Ethan Horvath, who started on the bench but replaced Zack Steffen when he was forced off with an injury in the 67th minute, made multiple stops during the minutes that he saw. Guillermo Ochoa also made multiple big saves to keep Mexico in with a fighting chance.

The game was also riveting to watch, with goals coming in the 1st minute and ending in the 114th minute. The fixture concluded a sensational inaugural Nations League Tournament. The perfect bow to end proceedings in Denver.

Next Up, Utah

The next match for the USMNT will be in Sandy, Utah on June 9th when they host Costa Rica in a friendly.

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USMNT Defeats Mexico In Inaugural Nations League Final