Mexico wins record 7th CONCACAF Gold Cup, beats Jamaica 3-1 in final
For the first time in four years, Mexico stands atop the CONCACAF mountain.
Mexico beat Jamaica 3-1 at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field Sunday night to win its record seventh Gold Cup championship and its first since 2011. Andres Guardado, Jesus Corona and Oribe Peralta scored for El Tri, which will play 2013 Gold Cup champion USA in an October 9 playoff for the region's berth in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. CONCACAF confirmed later Sunday that the venue for that match will be the Rose Bowl, where Mexico beat the USA 4-2 in the 2011 Gold Cup final.
Mexico had been the beneficiary of some controversial, late penalty calls in the Gold Cup knockout stage, but Miguel Herrera's side didn't need luck to get on the board first. Guardado scored his sixth goal of the tournament with an expert left-footed volley to cap a well-designed set piece in the 31st minute.
Jonathan Dos Santos picked out Paul Aguilar on the right, and he pinged a cross back toward the left post, where an unmarked Guardado connected on a one-timed effort. It was Guardado's penalty kicks that lifted Mexico to wins in the quarterfinals against Costa Rica and semifinals against Panama, and he was named Golden Ball winner as the tournament's top player.
Mexico delivered a dagger to Jamaica, which was gunning for its first Gold Cup title, moments into the second half through Corona, who laced a low 20-yard shot by Jamaica goalkeeper Ryan Thompson in the 47th minute for the second goal of his budding international career.
It became three for El Tri in the 61st, as Peralta finished with ease from close range after Michael Hector failed to clear a cross. The Jamaica defender whiffed on the ball, had it go through his legs and land on the doorstep for Peralta, who scored his fourth goal of the tournament.
Darren Mattocks pulled one back for Jamaica in the 80th minute, scoring for his second straight game, but it was little consolation for Jamaica, which had upset the USA in the semifinals.
The U.S., which finished fourth after falling in penalties to Panama in Saturday's third-place game, had star Clint Dempsey secure the Golden Boot, with his seven goals leading all Gold Cup scorers.
Here's how Mexico's triumph unfolded:
GOALKEEPERS: Moises Muñoz (Club America), Guillermo Ochoa (Malaga), Jonathan Orozco (Monterrey)
DEFENDERS: Paul Aguilar (Club America), Oswaldo Alanis (Chivas Guadalajara), Yasser Corona (Queretaro), Miguel Herrera (Pachuca), Miguel Layun (Watford), Diego Reyes (Porto), Francisco Javier Rodriguez (Cruz Azul)
MIDFIELDERS: Jonathan Dos Santos (Villarreal), Jesús Dueñas (Tigres), Andres Guardado (PSV Eindhoven), Hector Herrera (Porto), Antonio Rios (Toluca), Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres), Jose Juan Vazquez (Leon)
FORWARDS: Jesus Corona (FC Twente), Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Carlos Esquivel (Toluca), Javier Orozco (Santos Laguna), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad)
GOALKEEPERS: Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union), Dwayne Miller (Syrianska), Ryan Thompson (Pittsburgh Riverhounds)
DEFENDERS: Michael Hector (Reading), Lance Laing (FC Edmonton), Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls), Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace), Wes Morgan (Leicester City), Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers)
MIDFIELDERS: Rodolph Austin (Unattached), Simon Dawkins (Derby County), Joel Grant (Yeovil Town), Christopher Humphrey (Preston North End), Jobi McAnuff (Leyton Orient), Garath McCleary (Reading), Je-Vaughn Watson (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS: Giles Barnes (Houston Dynamo), Andre Clennon (Arnett Gardens), Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps), Allan Ottey (Montego Bay United), Michael Seaton (Orebro)