USA VS MEXICO CONCACAF GOLD CUP FINAL: CLASSIC RIVALRY WRITES NEW CHAPTER
One of the oldest and fiercest rivals in international football are set to battle it out as the USA and Mexico face off in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final on 2nd August 2021. Both teams had close-run affair in the semi-final as they only scored the winning goal in the dying minutes of the game.
Having conceded only 1 goal each throughout the competition, both the USA and Mexico would be fairly confident heading into the game and would be highly motivated to beat their arch-nemesis for the trophy. FootTheBall brings you everything you need to know about the classic rivalry between the 2 sides before the exciting final fixture.
The rivalry between Mexico and USA has been going on for over a century now and Mexico have been the dominant side of the two for the most part. It all started in the 1934 World Cup playoffs when both the teams met for the first time. Mexico was one of the best in the world at the time and had complete confidence in their technical ability against a rather feeble US side.
— S.A.S.H. (@USSoccerHistory) October 8, 2015
Surprisingly, the USA ended up beating Mexico that day by 4-2 and qualified for the World Cup, knocking Mexico out. Mexico came back strong next year by winning 3 games against them with a total tally of 19-6. Since then, for the next 50 years, Mexico completely dominated the CONCACAF scene whereas the USA remained dormant.
— Mexican National Team (@miseleccionmxEN) July 30, 2021
Between the 1930s and 1980s, Mexico and USMNT played 27 games and Mexico won 22 and drew 3 out of them. Mexico were one of the best in the business for 5 decades but things started changing from the early 1990s.
USA’s ascent began in the 1991 Gold Cup when they managed to beat Mexico 2-0 and went on to lift the cup in its inaugural year. Although 2 years later, Mexico battered the USA by 4 goals, the USMNT have never looked bad since then. In the 1990’s they became good enough to put up a tough fight against big teams like Mexico.
#OTD in 1991!
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) July 5, 2019
1993 saw the MLS commence which completely changed the football scene in the USA. Young college students finally had the opportunity to play football professionally without going to Europe. MLS is constantly producing young talents for the USMNT today but it all started back then.
🇺🇸 @ussoccer was the best attacking side in the 2017 Gold Cup, with 13 goals.
Top scorer: Jordan Morris (3⚽️).
— Concacaf (@Concacaf) July 10, 2020
Since then, the USA became one of the strongest teams in the CONCACAF region and won 3 Gold Cups between 1993 and 2007. They made it to the finals twice and even finished 3rd in the tournament multiple times. For the first time, the USA started troubling the might of Mexico.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE CONCACAF GOLD CUP FINAL?
It has been a tooth and nail battle between both sides over the last decade as it is tough to tell which one of them is more superior. Out of the last 7 Gold Cups, USA has won twice whereas Mexico have won five times, beating USA in the final in four of those.
The last time these two teams met was in the final of CONCACAF’s Nations League on 7th June where USA beat Mexico 3-2 by nicking a goal in extra time. Chaos had unleashed in the middle of the game as Mexico fans started throwing bottles and other objects at the USMNT players. Even the players erupted into a brawl after USA’s goalkeeper got injured. The chaos just shows how heated things can become when they go head-on against each other and we might see something similar happening in the Gold Cup final as well.
Over the last decade, USA and Mexico have played 15 games against each other and have won 5 games each. Even their performance in the tournament so far has been extremely similar and both sides have hardly put a foot wrong. We are going to see a game of passion and emotion where every player would be going all out for glory.