Thursday, June 23, 2011

2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup - Semifinals: US & Mexico Advance

Photo by Katy Umaña

Wednesday night a sold out crowd of over 70,000 soccer fans was on hand at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas for the semifinals of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, featuring the United States playing Panama and Mexico playing Honduras.

Just last week, the US had lost its first ever Gold Cup group stage match to Panama, so Wednesday featured a rematch between the two sides. On Tuesday, US players said they obviously wanted to win the semifinal match, but it wasn't an issue of revenge. In the end, it was native Texan Clint Dempsey who played the hero for the United States picking up the match's only goal in the 76th minute. Post-match audio from members of the USMNT can be heard in the most recent episode of The Zygo Soccer Report Podcast.

Mexico had been dominating the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup and going into it's Wednesday night match against Honduras it was expected that Mexico would win the match and advance to the final. Honduras, however, chose not to go quietly into that dark night and managed to hold Mexico to a 0-0 scoreline through the end of 90 minutes, sending the match to extra time. In the 92nd minute, Mexico's Jesús De Nigris finally broke the scoring drought, giving El Tri the lead, and ultimately the win. In the 98th minute, Javier "Chicharito" Hernández picked up the insurance goal for Mexico.

On Saturday, the United States and Mexico will meet at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California for the final. In 2009, the US lost to Mexico in the Gold Cup final, but this year a slot in the Confederations Cup is on the line and US has brought it's A team, but will that be enough to get by Mexico?

No comments: