Chicago: Jonathan dos Santos scored the only goal as Mexico defeated the United States 1-0 to win the Concacaf Gold Cup for a record-extending eighth time at Soldier Field on Sunday.
Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder dos Santos rifled home in the 73rd minute to settle a hard-fought encounter between the two arch-rivals of North American football in front of 62,493 fans.
Mexico have now won the Gold Cup eight times since 1991 when the championship for teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) was rebooted.
It was a disappointing defeat for the American men, who had been hoping to complete a trophy double after the US women had powered to victory over the Netherlands in the World Cup in France earlier on Sunday.
“Over the course of 90 minutes, Mexico was the better team,” US coach Gregg Berhalter said. “Having said that, we started the game really bright.
“I think what we lacked was some of the calmness, some of the composure.”
Dos Santos’s winner was the outstanding move of a pulsating duel that saw the United States pay the price for failing to take advantage of several promising early chances.
The decisive goal came after a surging run down the right flank by Mexico’s Rodolfo Pizarro.
The Monterrey playmaker fed Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Raul Jimenez, who produced a delightful back heel into the path of dos Santos who curled his shot into the top corner past USA goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
But the defeat left Berhalter reflecting on what might have been after his team had started the first half strongly, carving out a string of promising chances as Mexico took their time to get into the game.
“When you talk about a step the team needs to take, we’re close,” Berhalter said. “But we weren’t there tonight.”