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Throwback Thursday: Benny Feilhaber’s strike stuns Mexico to win Gold Cup

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CONCACAF Gold Cup Final: Mexico v USA Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The United States entered the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup final in Chicago as the underdogs to arch-rivals Mexico, despite a decade-long dominance against El Tri on American soil. The region’s two powerhouses were set to battle for the trophy in front of a sold out crowd at Soldier Field. What resulted was one of the more memorable matches in Gold Cup history, especially for the USMNT.

Despite a few chances for the USMNT, it was Mexico that struck first. Andres Guardado punched home a cross into the box late in the first half to give El Tri a 1-0 lead at the break. In the second half, however, the Yanks showed the grit and determination that became a staple of Bob Bradley-led national teams.

In the 61st minute, a nice buildup by the United States led to Jonathan Spector sending a cross into the box towards Brian Ching. Ching collected the ball and was brought down by Jonny Magallon for a penalty. Landon Donovan converted the penalty in the 62nd minute to equalize for the Americans.

The next goal is one for the USMNT history books. In the 72nd minute, the Americans had a corner kick. With the stadium chanting and buzzing, Donovan sent the corner into the box, where Mexico headed it out of trouble...or so they thought. Coming down at the top of the penalty box, Benny Feilhaber was poised to strike, and strike he did. His one-time volley went screaming into the upper 90 for a sensational goal, one of the most memorable in USMNT history.

The crowd exploded as the USMNT celebrated on the field. Mexico was in shock, watching their decade of failure on American soil continue. Mexico tried to press, but couldn’t withstand the surge by the USMNT. A late point blank shot by Adolfo Bautista was somehow thwarted by Tim Howard, their last real chance. In the end, the whistle blew, and the USMNT were Gold Cup champions, 2-1 victors over Mexico.

Relive that massive date in USMNT history and Benny Feilhaber’s epic goal!