The United States beat Mexico 3-2 to win the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League on Sunday, ending a wild extra time that saw a penalty from Christian Pulisic and a save from substitute keeper Ethan Horvath. United States twice came from behind – 1-0 down and 2-1 down – to give extra time in front of a raucous crowd at Empower Field. The score was 2–2 after regular time and in the 114th minute, Chelsea striker Pulisic gave USA the first lead when he converted a penalty awarded after a VAR review. Six minutes later Andres Guardado’s attempt from the spot – awarded by VAR after confirming a handball by Mark McKenzie in the penalty area – was turned away by Horvath. By then, Mexico’s Argentine coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino had been dispatched, apparently turning over Panamanian referee John Pitti as he checked the video on Carlos Salcedo’s tackle, who brought Pulisic down in the box.
The decision to award the penalty prompted Mexico fans to shower the pitch with rubble. Mexico was quickly out of the block, taking a 1-0 lead in the second minute through Jesus Corona. Gio Reyna answered for United States in the 27th minute – thought by Mexico they went 2-0 up on a header by Hector Moreno which was rejected on the VAR review because he was a hair offside . It set the stage for 18-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder Reyna, who fired in the rebound when Weston McKennie’s header rebounded off the post from a Pulisic corner kick. Second-half substitute Diag o Lanez restored Mexico’s lead in the 79th, surpassing Horvath, who had moved into the 67th, when Stefan left with an apparent leg injury. Once again the United States pulled level, with McKennie slipping a header behind Mexico keeper Guillermo Ochoa to the side. met. The two sides remained at stalemate after the first period of regular time and extra time. Then Pulisic, fresh from Chelsea’s Champions League win, went down in the box as he was challenged by two of Mexico’s defenders. Pitti did not initially award the spot for the kick, but changed the call after a long break to review, during which tensions on the pitch and on the stands increased. Pulisic takes two steps and drives the ball over Ochoa into the top corner. When another VAR review confirmed McKenzie’s handball, Guardado, playing in his 116th international, took it with confidence, but Horvath dived to his right for a huge save. “I’m speechless to be honest,” Horvath told a television interviewer. Bench as a keeper, you don’t expect to get into the game,” he said. “It’s just a whole bunch of emotions. It’s a special moment for me in my hometown of Denver.” The United States earned its second win in seven CONCACAF tournament finals against Mexico, its first since the 2007 Gold Cup. Promoted to Martino, it was the United States. It is the first final defeat since being in charge of El Trai, after winning the 2019 Gold Cup. Earlier in the third-place playoff on Sunday, Honduras beat Costa Rica 5–4 on penalties when the sides played 2. -2 Draw in regular time.The topics mentioned in this article.