The United States Men's National Team will spend another Confederations Cup on their couches as they lost out to Mexico on Saturday night. A valiant effort by the USMNT couldn't overcome getting completely dominated for 120 minutes of play. They fought back from a goal down twice, but were stunned in the final minutes of extra time by a sublime goal.
Guzan; Johnson, Cameron, Besler, Beasley; Jones, Beckerman, Bradley, Zardes; Dempsey, Altidore
Munoz; Layun, Reyes, Marquez, Moreno, Aguilar; Jimenez, Guardado, Herrera; Chicharito, Peralta
It was a nervy start by Klinsmann's men as Mexico controlled the game for the opening minutes. They knocked it around the field with ease and to the tune of "Ole" from their supporters. A few early crosses into the box were never a threat to Brad Guzan's goal.
Mexico's constant pressure would pay off just 10 minutes in as a lovely interchanging play in the midfield befuddled the U.S. defense and Oribe Peralta found his way in on goal. His layoff pass found an open Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and he tapped into an open goal for his first ever goal against the USA.
The U.S. would take only five minutes to find an equalizer. A free kick on the left flank was taken by Michael Bradley who delivered a perfect curling ball to the head of Geoff Cameron. The Stoke City defender made no mistake and put his header right into the top corner of the net to level the score, 1-1.
Play finally settled down for the next quarter of an hour with both sides being methodical on the ball trying to pick apart the others formations.
Bradley had the match's next great chance as he found space at the top of the box, dribbled past two defenders, but dragged a left-footed shot wide of the post.
Mexico came right back at the U.S. and had a chance whistled offside, but Peralta barreled into Guzan that started a scuffle between the two teams that drew a yellow card to the Mexican striker.
Altidore and Bradley would have two more chances to give the U.S. the lead before halftime. Gyasi Zardes crossed in to Altidore, but his flick on goal went high. Bradley had a free kick effort pushed out nicely by Munoz.
The halftime whistle blew with the score level and all to play for in the second half.
As play resumed Mexico found itself with an early chance as Raul Jimenez received a lucky bounce in the box, but was denied by a rushing Guzan.
El Tri poured on the pressure for the opening 15 minutes of the half, pinning the U.S. in their own end making them defend. It almost paid off as a sequence evolved reminiscent of the first goal, but Chicharito couldn't get solid contact on his shot.
The U.S. made their first change in the 78th minute as DeAndre Yedlin replaced Zardes on the right flank.
In stoppage time Mexico appealed for a penalty when they believed Matt Besler handled the ball in the box, but the referee waved play on. In the third minute of injury time the full time whistle would be blown to send the game into extra time.
Peralta would see the first chance of extra time fall to him as he was played in on goal, but his shot was saved by Guzan.
The striker would get another chance six minutes in to extra time and this time he'd make the U.S pay. A floated ball into the box found Paul Aguilar, who centered a pass into the box, it found Peralta open at penalty spot and his finish beat Guzan to give Mexico the lead.
In the 107th minute, Yedlin would find space to attack on the right side of the field. His galloping run forward towards goal opened up space, he proceeded to slot a ball into the path of Bobby Wood, who came on as a sub for Altidore. His first time shot was beautifully finished past Munoz to tie the game.
Two minutes from end of extra time, Mexico would pull back in front. A floated ball into the right side of the box found Aguilar who fired a full volley into the corner of the net for a sensational goal.
The U.S. would have one last gasp attempt with a free kick. Bradley found the head of Cameron again, but his effort flew over the bar. The final whistle would sound and Mexico would be the deserved winners.
- Mexico outplayed the U.S. throughout the whole match.
- Klinsmann decided to bunker in and try to withstand Mexico's attack instead of playing a "proactive" style like he's sworn to do.
- Great effort and fight by the players to come back from 2 deficits, but skill beat heart on this day.
- Changes need to be made both on and off the field. We'll see if they happen.