🌎 Mexico to meet rivals USA in Gold Cup final

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OneFootball

Emily Wilson

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The CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals kicked off on Thursday with Qatar, Mexico, Canada and the United States all vying for spots in the final.

Here is how everything went down.


Mexico score last-second winner to break Canadian hearts

Mexico 2
Canada 1
Full time

Scorers: Pineda 45+2′, Herrera 90+9′; Buchanan 57′

Mexico and Canada went head to head in the second semi-final of the night and Mexico booked a spot in the final after a 2-1 win.

Despite being action-packed at either end of the pitch, the breakthrough didn’t come until late in the first half when VAR awarded Mexico a penalty after a tackle from Doneil Henry in the box.

But right before Orbelín Pineda stepped up to convert, there were heated scenes as a brawl broke out between the teams. The scenario led to another talking point when a Mexico player seemed to place his hand around Mark Kaye’s neck but VAR did not intervene.

After the break, Canada were not letting up and waves of attack led to an equaliser from Tajon Buchanan.

Immediately after, VAR handed Mexico another penalty but goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau made the save to keep things 1-1.

Eventually, with virtually the last touch of the game, Mexico found a way to unravel Canada’s backline and Hector Herrerra’s strike won it 2-1 for the defending champions.


Substitutes save the day for the USA

Qatar 0
USA 1
Full time

Scorers: Zardes 85′

The United States hosted Qatar at Q2 Stadium and edged out a 1-0 victory in a dramatic semi-final matchup.

While the USA were meticulous in midfield with majority possession, Qatar used their speedy counter-attacks to put pressure on the hosts and outshot them 13-3 in the first half.

A strike from Matthew Hoppe at the top of the box was the best chance for the hosts while a chip from Abdulaziz Hatem at the other end was the best for the visitors.

Deadlocked at the break, the Americans came out with more energy in the second half to try and overload Qatar’s defence but the plan went sour as it handed the visitors another counter opportunity.

Akram Afif took his run into the box but was fouled by James Sands allowing VAR to award Qatar a penalty. Hassan Al Heidos stepped up but put his panenka attempt over the bar.

Handed a lifeline, the USA continued with relentless pressure and eventually broke through after substitutes Nicholas Gioacchini and Gyasi Zardes combined for the winning goal.


With the results, the USA will face Mexico in the Gold Cup final on August 1 at Allegiant Stadium.