Chelsea star and Champions League winner Christian Pulisic has been dubbed ‘Captain America’ for scoring a dramatic late penalty that sealed a Concacaf Nations League cup last win deep in further time against bitter rivals Mexico.
After Mark McKenzie made a poor cross in his personal penalty space, Jesus Corona put El Tri forward after simply 63 seconds of play in Denver.
The Mexicans then appeared to have pulled 2-Zero in entrance within the 24th minute, when Hector Herrera’s cross to an unmarked Hector Moreno was headed previous US ‘keeper Zach Steffen, though the hassle was dominated offside courtesy of a VAR intervention.
Borussia Dortmund star Gio Reyna then netted his third goal for his nation when a Pulisic nook was headed off the far submit by Weston Mckennie, rebounding for him to end from shut vary.
With that effort, Reyna adopted within the footsteps of his father, Claudio, who as soon as scored in a memorable 4-Zero victory against Mexico in Washington DC in 1995.
Reyna’s night met an unlucky finish when he was hit within the face by an object thrown from the terraces following Pulisic’s goal, with the tense match halted for round three minutes throughout added time close to the top of the common 90 minutes due to homophobic chants.
In extra of the dangerous fan conduct that has marred US sports activities as of late, one spectator ran throughout the pitch earlier than being man-handled by safety.
“[It’s a] total lack of respect for what’s happening on the field and all the effort that both teams are putting into the game,” mentioned USA supervisor Gregg Berhalter after.
“I think [Reyna] is going to be OK, but he did take something to the head and it could have been a lot worse.”
Mexico regained the lead after 78 minutes by Diego Lainez, and appeared to be headed for silverware till Juventus star McKennie prolonged the night by leveling within the 82nd and sending the match into further time.
Not simply taking the glory by changing the successful spot kick, Pulisic was additionally concerned within the construct up when he was pulled to the bottom by Carlos Salcedo on 108 minutes.
John Pitti, the match referee from Panama, didn’t name a penalty at first, however headed to VAR after which modified his thoughts.
Clearly wound up, Mexico supervisor Tata Martino acquired a pink card for placing his hand on an official because the evaluate came about, and Hirving Lozano obtained off with a yellow card for arguing in regards to the determination.
Pulisic scored his 16th worldwide goal by sending the ball previous Mexico’s Guillermo Ochoa into the highest nook, and was then concerned in a passionate celebration which noticed him rip off his shirt and beat his chest.
But the motion wasn’t completed there as Mexico additionally had an opportunity themselves from 12 yards.
Replacing Steffen within the 69th minute, Evan Horvath made a string of necessary saves together with Andres Guardado’s 124th minute penalty in entrance of 20 family and friends watching him in his hometown on the Empower Field.
“Just thinking about how difficult it is for goalkeepers to come into the game, at that stage of the game, and then to make the impact that he made was remarkable,” commented Berhalter.
“It’s been a tough season for him and to come and have a performance like that in his hometown was stuff that storybooks write about.”
Reflecting on the victory itself, the supervisor mentioned: “For this group, it’s really important.
“We’re a younger facet and we want to learn the way to win. These video games are very tough, and for us it was about having a sport plan, executing the sport plan. But then it is also in regards to the combat within the spirit.”
With a trophy within the bag, the USMNT, who tackle Costa Rica in a pleasant on Wednesday, now have bragging rights over a foe they may face within the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and will meet within the CONCACAF Gold Cup subsequent month earlier than.