USA vs. Mexico Live Blog: CONCACAF Gold Cup Final
Posted by Mike on June 24, 2007
UPDATE: We have video of Feilhaber’s fantastic goal.
Today, USA plays Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final at Soldier Field in Chicago. At stake is a spot in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. This is the biggest game that team USA will play in a while, since they have decided to send their JV team to get slaughtered in Copa America. Neither team has been particularly impressive in their play, and Canada probably thinks they should be here instead of the US. Still, this is by far the best soccer rivalry in North America.
I’ll be watching the game on Univision, and I suggest you do the same. It’s a lot more fun that way, even if you don’t speak any Spanish.
3:08 pm, 2nd minute: The game begins in a packed Soldier field. Mexico is the aggressor early, getting a few opportunites in the first three minutes.
Considering the game is being played in America, this is a decidedly pro-Mexican crowd.
3:10 pm, 5th minute: We need to do something to fix our right side defense. Castillo, the left winger of el Tri, is running us ragged.
3:13 pm, 8th minute: I don’t know if it’s the Mexico defense our our forwards, but it looks like the Americans aren’t even trying to attack.
3:14 pm, 9th minute: Carlos Bocanegra gets a yellow card. The call is justified; he went for a lot more than the ball on that tackle.
3:16 pm, 10th minute: Jared Borgetti is hurting right now, and it looks like it was Bocanegra again. He’s lucky there wasn’t a call.
The US needs to materialize some good offensive opportunities to counter the chances that Mexico is getting.
3:18 pm: 13th minute: Only in international soccer can a coach dress in a pink polo shirt under a black blazer and look manly. Hugo Sanchez, you’ve got some serious huevos.
3:20 pm: Mexico gets another scoring chance from the left side. The American defense seems to still be lapsing a bit. We’re lucky the crosses from that side haven’t had any sort of accuracy.
3:22 pm, 17th minute: Our first real scoring chance! Some good passing, and Damarcus Beasley and Brian Ching converge to the ball in the zone, but Oswaldo Sanchez is there to block the ball, and the defense clears.
3:26 pm, 21st minute: The Mexicans have done a lot of flopping in this game. So far, the referee hasn’t been fooled.
3:28 pm, 23rd minute: Good lord! Hugo Sanchez looks like a villain from “Miami Vice” in that outfit.
TIRO DE ESQUINA PARA MEXICO…SI!
3:30 pm: Mexico gets two straight corner kicks, but both times the ball goes over Tim Howard’s head and out of play.
3:31 pm: Johnathan Borstein firs a bullet at the goal from just outside the box, but he just misses to the left. Six inches up and to the right, and USA would be up 1-0. A great strike, but just wide.
3:35 pm, 30th minute: Mexico finally gets the phantom foul call and free kick they’re looking for, thanks to an almost-tackle by Pablo Mastroeni.
The free kick deflects of the American wall and out of harms way, but El Tri gets a free kick.
3:37 pm, 32nd minute: After the corner kick, Mexico gets another opportunity by luring Howard away from the net, but they’re called for a foul.
3:38 pm, 33rd minute: Jaime Lozano should get an Oscar for drawing that yellow card.
3:40 pm, 35th minute: This is fun. The Univision announcers are using Brian Ching’s name as a sound effect. Every time he gets bumped by a defender, CHING! I can’t stop laughing.
3:43 pm, 37th minute: Either Jared Borgetti is the greatest telenovela actor we’ve ever seen, or his hamstring just exploded. Since this is soccer, I’m going to guess the former. He wasn’t even touched!
3:45 pm, 39th minute: Another scoring opportunity for the Americans, sparked by an intercepted pass by Landon Donovan. A great strike by Clint Dempsey, but Oswaldo “dirty Sanchez” makes the save.
3:46 pm, 40th minute: Nery Castillo exploits the left side yet again, and gets a one-on-one opportunity against the keeper, but misses his shot three inches to the right. SE LAAAA PERRR DIOOOOOOOO!!! I love Univision.
3:49 pm, 43rd minute: USA gets a decent chance, but bad passing prevents any real threat.
3:50 pm, 44th minute: NOOOOOOOOO!!! Another defensive lapse and some great passing leaves Andres Guardado wide open in front of the goal, and he scores easily. 1-0, Mexico, near the end of the half. DAMMIT!
Watching the replay, it’s Nery Castillo who’s continuing to exploit the American defense.
3:53 pm: the first half ends, with Mexico leading 1-0. We did not play well at all. Our defense was lax, to put it mildly, we weren’t attacking enough to get good scoring opportunities, and We have absolutely no answer for Nery Castillo right now.
4:09 pm: The second half is about begin. Ricardo Clark has substituted Pablo Mastroeni. Let’s hope that helps the Americans play better.
4:12 pm, 47th minute: A great opportunity for the US to tie the game, as Ricardo Clark makes his presence felt immediately, but three times they take a shot, including Clint Dempsey twice, and Oswaldo denies them all three times. Great play by the goalie, but we have to be able to finish off those chances.
Univision is decidedly pro-Mexico in their coverage; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But hey, it beats Eric Wynalda.
4:15 pm, 51st minute: Our defense lapses AGAIN! and Omar Bravo gets a good shot and forces a corner kick. The Americans fail to clear the corner kick, and Nery Castillo nearly scores on a bullet strike to put el Tri up by two goals.
4:18 pm: 54th minute: The Americans are getting more opportunities to to score in this half. Dempsey is left wide open just outside the box on the left side, but he makes what may be the lamest kick ever. Sanchez has no trouble picking the ball up and clearing the zone. A great pass by Donovan, wasted.
4:20 pm: 56th minute: Coach Update: Hugo Sanchez has taken his blazer off, and now he just looks like a bad golfer on the sidelines.
Another opportunity for the Americans to score. CHING! It’s clear that Ricardo Clark has changed the dynamic of the American attack, and the game is much faster and more exciting now.
4:22 pm, 58th minute: I know that you Mexicans are flopping to try and get calls, but I thought you were above that, Rafa Marquez. For crying out loud, you play for Barca!
4:24 pm, 60th minute: Just as I am about to rant about out defense, Brian Ching draws a penalty kick for the USA, with a chance to tie. Donovan will kick.
4:26 pm, 62nd minute: GOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLL!!!! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLL!!!! Donovan completely fakes out Dirty Sanchez, and scores easily on the right side. We are now tied, 1-1. WHOOOOO!!!
4:31 pm, 67th minute: Mexico has gotten several scoring chances after the goal by Donovan. The latest was a free kick from the right side, but the header doesn;t deflect the ball enough to challenge Tim Howard.
4:32 pm, 68th minute: We still have a serious problem with Nery Castillo.
Taylor Twellman is coming in for the USA, replacing Clint Dempsey. Replacing a midfielder with a striker is a clear offensive move, even though Dempsey is an attacking midfielder.
4:34 pm, 70th minute: There’s been a bad collision at around midfield. Johnathan Spector and Andres Guardado hit each other’s heads in mid air. Let’s hope that they’re both okay.
4:37 pm, 73rd minute: GOOOLLLAAAAAAAZOOOOOOO!!!!! GOLLAAAAAAAZOOOOOOO!!! GOLAZZZZZOOOOO!!! off the corner kick, the ball is deflected to just outside a box, and then Benny Feilhaber deliver an absolute death strike from 20 yards away. An absolutely unbelievable goal by Feilhaber, and USA takes a 2-1 lead. Even the Univision announcers are going nuts. USA! USA! USA!
4:40 pm, 76th minute: USA very nearly scores again, as Brian Ching beats the defense and Oswaldo, but hits shot hits the right post. I love how the Americans have been playing in the second half. My only question is, where the hell was this in the World Cup?!?
4:43 pm, 79th minute: Mexico has put Cuauhtemoc Blanco in the game, hoping for some offense.
4:44 pm, 80th minute: As the USA continues to act as the aggressor in the second half, I can;t help but wonder if Mexico ran out of gas at some point.
4:46 pm, 82nd minute: At this point the live blogs may be falling apart. I am now yelling taunts to the Mexican ream at the TV. I want to start hearing “NO SE PUEDEN! NO SE PUEDEN!” from the American fans in Soldier Field.
4:48 pm, 84th minute: If you can’t find any sporting event to watch tomorrow night, there’s the grand finale of La Fea Mas Bella. Solo por Univision!
4:51 pm, 87th minute: In all the excitement I forgot to tell you that before the go-ahead goal, Frank Simek was put in the game for team USA.
4:52 pm, 89th minute: Howard makes a great save on a point blank shot by Mexico to save the game. He’s done an excellent job today.
4:54 pm, 90th minute: No! The Americans have a two man breakaway, and Damarcus Beasley is all alone in front of an open goal…and he kicks it too high, against the cross bar.
The game is getting 4 minutes of stoppage time, which is going to be a very, very long four minutes.
4:57 pm, 93rd minute: Oguchi Onyewu decleats Omar Bravo in the box, but no foul is called. I agree with the call because Onyewu was looking for the ball. Still, he was lucky no call was made.
The final minute, and I’m really nervous.
4:59 pm: It’s over It’s over! USA has won, 2-1, and the Americans are the Champions of CONCACAF! WHOOOOO!!!! Take that, Hugo Sanchez and your pink shirt!
We certainly saved our best play for last. The second half was some of the best soccer I’ve seen from this team, and certainly the most aggressive I’ve ever seen them. I think putting Clark in for Mastroeni really changed the dynamic of the game, and Feilbaher’s death strike to win the game will now become the stuff of legends to the literally hundreds of soccer fans in this country. In all seriousness, if we play like that in every game, team USA could be able to compete against almost any…
Wow. There are few things more awkward than seeing Landon Donovan trying to talk in Spanish about the game for Republica Deportiva. This is the kind of stuff you just can’t get with English coverage. Once again, congratulations to the US National Team for a great game and well-deserved victory over Mexico.