Bobby Wood scored in extratime for the U.S., but it wasn’t enough in the CONCACAF Cup. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
PASADENA, Calif. — The United States was game, only that it could not take its game a full 120 minutes.
The Americans battled Mexico tough, but could not get over its exhaustion in extratime and fell to their archrivals in the CONCACAF Cup, 3-2.
Not only did El Tri win the confrontation of the past two Gold Cup championships, they booked a spot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, a trial-run tournament in Russia a year prior to the 2018 World Cup.
The Mexcians tallied twice in extratime, including a superb volley from right back Paul Augilar at the Rose Bowl.
The hosts rallied twice from deficits, with substitute Bobby Wood answered striker Oribe Peralta’s strike early in the extra period.
“A loss is always difficult to swallow, there’s no doubt about it, especially when there’s a lot at stake,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “It means that you have to work even harder than you ever did before in order to turn the results around and make things happen. … I think [our guys] showed a lot of character, they showed tremendous effort, and they gave everything they had out on the field.
“When you’re on the losing side, it hurts, that’s normal, and it takes a couple of days to swallow a pill like that. But I told the guys [to keep their] heads up, because they gave everything they had there. Coming back twice against Mexico and playing very, very openly is impressive, but it was not enough, unfortunately.”
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez gave the Mexicans a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute, but that goal was nullified by U.S. defender Geoff Cameron, whose 15th-minute head off a Michael Bradley free kick knotted things up.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed,” U.S. defender Geoff Cameron said. “Michael Bradley free kick answered Hernandez’s opener five minutes earlier. “We come so close in the last few minutes of the game, the guy scores a worldie of a goal, and it puts them through.”