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Herrera, Mexico Stun Canada in Stoppage Time to Reach Gold Cup Final vs. USMNT

For the second time in two months, Concacaf has a USA-Mexico final on its hands.

Hector Herrera's goal in the ninth minute of second-half stoppage time gave Mexico a 2–1 win over Canada in the Gold Cup semifinals in front of a capacity crowd in Houston, setting up a U.S-Mexico title bout Sunday in Las Vegas. The match comes on the heels of the June 6 Concacaf Nations League final that the U.S. won in extra time.

The U.S. punched its ticket with a 1–0 win over Qatar in Austin, Texas, with Gyasi Zardes's 86th-minute goal the difference. Mexico left it even later, dealing Canada a dose of heartbreak after a valiant effort to pull level and threaten to win it.

But Herrera made the difference, firing home after Rodolfo Pizarro cut a ball back through the Canada box, where the Atlético Madrid midfielder was waiting to strike.

Herrera and Mexico's players didn't hesitate in racing over to celebrate with Jonathan Dos Santos, whose father, Zizinho, died earlier on Thursday. Dos Santos elected to stay with the team and play in the match after learning of the news.

Thursday's was a match that featured plenty of histrionics and controversy. Mexico twice was granted penalty kicks through VAR, with Orbelin Pineda converting the first one in first-half stoppage time. Carlos Salcedo had his 66th-minute spot kick saved by Maxime Crépeau, the Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper who made multiple key saves to keep Mexico at bay.

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Tajon Buchanan scored Canada's equalizer in the 57th minute, getting free on the left side to take down Mark-Anthony Kaye's long diagonal before beating Salcedo and eventually goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera to make it 1–1.

The match wound up with so much stoppage time as a result of Concacaf's anti-discrimination protocol, which went into effect after the anti-gay chant that Mexico fans have repeatedly been punished for made its way around NRG Stadium. The officials halted the match for a few minutes as step one of the protocol, resulting in the significant amount of additional time tacked on following the 90-minute mark.

Mexico will look to add to its record total of Gold Cup titles, which currently stands at eight. The U.S. is looking to close the gap by adding what would be a seventh title, which it can do if it is able to make up for the events of two years ago. 

In the last final meeting between Mexico and the U.S. at Chicago's Soldier Field, Dos Santos scored the game-winning goal in sensational fashion in a 1–0 triumph.

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