Pasadena, CA, United States
Pablo Barrera drilled two crucial goals as Mexico captured their second straight CONCACAF Gold Cup title with a come-from-behind 4-2 win over team USA at jam-packed Rose Bowl.
Barrera, who's playing professionally for English club West Ham United, first struck in the 29th minute to put the Mexican on the score board after seeing Michael Bradley (8th minute) and Landon Donovan (23rd minute) nailed two quick goals for the Americans just 23 minutes into the match.
With momentum slowly shifting to Mexico, Andres Guardado blew past his defender and slotted in the equalizer in the 36th minute.
The US supporters, energetic in the first minutes of the match, suddenly vanished in the cold Saturday evening as the Mexicans slowly controlled the match.
The Mexicans, hit by doping scandals early in the tournament, carried their intensity into the second half, with the trio of Barrera, Giovani dos Santos and Javier Hernández leading their attack.
Aside from their talented attacking unit, Mexico also showed incredible teamwork that allowed them to create scoring opportunity in almost every ball possession.
Finally in the 50th minute, Barrera made his presence felt again as he kicked in the goal that propelled Mexico ahead for the first time in the match.
Dos Santos, crafty throughout the tournament, put the exclamation point in the 76th minute, scoring Mexico's fourth goal of the night.
Mexico launched 19 shots in the match and had 16 open play crosses, while USA took only 13 shots and settled for 13 open play crosses.
Tim Howard managed to record five saves but obviously his effort was not enough to stop Mexico's high-octane attack.With the win, Mexico claimed its sixth Gold Cup title and will represent North America in the 2013 FIFA Confederation Cup.
Meanwhile, the Americans lost to Mexico in the Gold Cup finals for the second consecutive time.
USA had its lone Gold Cup finals victory against Mexico in 2007, when Donovan and Benny Feilhaber stunned their perennial favorite in a score of 2-1.
Hernandez was chosen as the best player of the tournament after the Manchester United striker scored a tournament best seven goals.
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