SAN DIEGO – Mexico finally played the way all of the fans were waiting to see during the entire tournament. The good performance emerged only in the final of the Gold Cup, even though they way they reached the final was very controversial.
It is debatable whether Mexico deserved this spot in the final or not, but they clearly showed they were the better team on Sunday. The end result of 3-1 took Mexico to its seventh Gold Cup tittle. They also reach Argentina and Uruguay in the group of teams have won at least 10 continental tittles, since Mexico won 3 CONCACAF tittles before the Gold Cup was created.
Mexico did play differently this time, wearing its black uniform and playing without many of its big names on the squad that either did not make it to the tournament or were absent for the final.
They had combination plays, showed creativity, had sharp passes and finishes all of which they were missing throughout the tournament. After benefiting from referee decisions in the quarterfinal against Costa Rica and the semifinal against Panama, Mexico finally found its rhythm.
[quote_box_center]“We have to correct some errors. Thankfully, we’re able to correct those errors while winning,” said Herrera, Mexico’s coach.[/quote_box_center]
With 31 minutes on the clock, Mexico scored the first goal of the match with Gold Cup MVP Andres Guardado. His sixth goal of the tournament was a brilliant volley after a cross from Paul Aguilar.
After that it was Jesus Corona’s turn to score, just 2 minutes after halftime. The 22-year old who was making his debut in this Gold Cup and replacing the suspended Carlos Vela, fitted in perfectly with the team, scoring with a strong low shot.
In the 61st minute, veteran Oribe Peralta sealed the deal after a mistake by Jamaica’s defender Michael Hector.
In the 80th minute Darren Mattocks scored 1 for Jamaica, but at point it was too late to come back as Mexico kept playing well and having more chances to score.
Credit needs to be paid to Jamaica too, as they were the first Caribbean team to make it to a Gold Cup final. They do have a lot of speed, they are very disciplined and organized and have many players in their peak in European leagues as well as in the MLS. During the final against Mexico they did have many chances in the first half, but were not as clinical as Mexico with their finishes.
[quote_box_center]“They’ve always had good attacking players, even 10-15 years ago, but now they’re adding their defensive experience in the back four, organization that the coaches brought into the team. They’re going to be a very tough team to break down.” – said DaMarcus Beasley[/quote_box_center]
After this result, Mexico will now face the U.S. which was the 2013 Gold Cup winner in a playoff game on October 9th to decide who will be CONCACAF’s representative in the 2017 Confederations Cup.