Ethan Horvath, terug in Colorado vir die eerste keer in drie of vier jaar, verwag om die wedstryd van die bank af te kyk en bevind dat hy Andrés Guardado se strafskop red - in die 124ste minuut!
The first CONCACAF Nations League final turned on an injury and not one or two but three video reviews.
“Dit is die perfekte manier om die jaar af te sluit,” Pulisic said after his penalty kick in the 114th minute led the United States over Mexico 3-2 Sunday night in frantic finale of the first CONCACAF Nations League.
Or as U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter put it: “One of the classic, odd U.S.-Mexico games.”
A testy match that was stopped for about three minutes in second-half stoppage time because of discriminatory fan chants at Empower Field also was marred by American attacker Gio Reyna getting hit on the face by a thrown object following Pulisic’s goal.
“Algehele gebrek aan respek vir wat op die veld gebeur en alle moeite wat albei spanne in die spel doen,” Berhalter gesê. “Ek dink hy gaan OK wees, maar hy het wel iets aan die kop gevat, en dit kon baie erger gewees het.”
Horvath, wat 'n week tevore sy eerste internasionale wedstryd sedert Maart gespeel het 2019, betree in die 69ste minuut, sewe minute na die aanvang van die VSA. doelwagter Zack Steffen het op die grond geval, sy linkerknie vasvat, after coming off his line in what seemed to be a routine manner to grab a through pass from Héctor Herrera that was too far for Uriel Antuna.
“If you’re on the bench as a keeper, you don’t expect to come in the game,” said the 25-year-old Horvath, who had about 20 family and friends at the match.
Jesús Corona put 11th-ranked Mexico ahead 63 seconds in after a sloppy giveaway by defender Mark McKenzie, whose poor pass into Corona’s path in the U.S. penalty area allowed the Mexican to break in alone on Steffen.
El Tri appeared to go up 2-0 in the 24th minute on a header by an unmarked Héctor Moreno, but a video review disallowed it for offside after Panamanian referee John Pitti consulted VAR.
Reyna, a son of former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna, tied the score in the 27th minute with his third international goal. The 18-year-old kicked in a rebound after Weston McKennie’s header from Pulisic’s corner kick hit a post.
Diego Lainez gave Mexico a 2-1 lead in the 79th, one minute after entering, when he cut inside from Tim Ream and beat Horvath.
By then Berhalter had changed tactics. He started five defenders that included Sergiño Dest as a wingback, a formation that could morph into a 4-3-3, then switched midway through the second half to four in the back.
Pulisic, fresh off of winning the Champions League with Chelsea on May 29, made the decisive move when cut inside the penalty area in the 108th minute and was pulled down by Carlos Salcedo.
Pitti did not initially signal a penalty but consulted a video review and then pointed to the spot. Mexico coach Tata Martino appeared received red card, apparently for putting a hand on an official during the review, and Hirving Lozano was given a yellow card for arguing after the decision.
Pulisic sent the ball to the upper corner past the left arm of goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa for his 16th international goal.
Pitti again did not make a call in the 119th minute when Luis Romo’s header went off the left arm of McKenzie, whose arm was perhaps only slightly outstretched. Another lengthy wait for a video review followed.
“It plays with your head a little bit when it takes long for the ref to decide whether it’s a PK or not,” McKennie said, “and he didn’t lose his head. He went with his gut and his instinct and his training.”
Horvath waited to the last moment and dived right to bat away the penalty by Mexico’s captain.
“It’s been a tough season for him, and to come have a performance like that in his hometown was the stuff that storybooks write about,” Berhalter gesê.
Die VSA. oorleef 'n uitgebreide 11 minute stilstand ná die tweede ekstra periode en het Mexiko vir die eerste keer sedertdien in 'n kompeterende wedstryd geklop 2013 na 'n reeks van drie verliese en 'n gelykopuitslag, vertroue kry voor die aanvang van die Wêreldbeker-kwalifisering in September.
“Ons is 'n jong span en ons moet leer hoe om te wen,” Berhalter gesê. “Dit gaan ook oor die stryd en gees. .. Hulle het regtig die hart van kampioene gewys.”
Notes: Honduras beat Costa Rica 5-4 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw in the third-place match. Costa Rica goals from Joel Campbell in the eighth minute and Francisco Calvo in the 85th, and Honduras got goals from Edwin Rodriguez in the 48th and Alberth Elis in the 80th.