Corona and Peralta in the second half scored similar goals in the second half with Corona creating a turnover in his attacking half and going unassisted for Mexico’s second while Peralta finished an unlucky touch off of Michael Hector near the six yard box past a helpless Ryan Thompson in the Jamaica goal.
But after breaking their drought with a 6-0 thumping of minnows Cuba in their Gold Cup opener, Mexico found a way to reach the final, although they needed refereeing decisions – later labelled “errors” by Concacaf – to go their way to overcome Panama 2-1 after extra time in the semi-finals. Not only did he take several outstanding penalties the referees kindly gifted Mexico, but he put together spectacular performance after spectacular performance on the wing.
Update: CONCACAF has announced that the Rose Bowl will host the Confederations Cup Playoff between the United States and Mexico. And yet, he went through the entire competition without suffering defeat – countering those who had called so vociferously for his head.
The Golden Ball award for the most outstanding player of the tournament, that many expected, was given to Andres Guardado.
“For me, this is not the silver, this is gold”, he said.
While the Confederations Cup may be a poor man’s World Cup, it is still a good opportunity for teams to see where they are at one year away from the pinnacle of worldwide football. Now the team faces more questions which could prove to be a major distraction as they now try and salvage the tournament and get a win against Panama before heading into what is predicted to be a lot of changes for the team.
It’s a transitional period for the USA, a time when stars from the last generation are being phased out and younger players are trying to put themselves in the mix. Some Jamaican players stayed and watched Mexico lift the trophy, seeing how close they came to shocking the soccer world.
Veteran coach and tactician Geoffrey Maxwell says that the team showed lack of a game plan. Jamaica scored a late consolation on 80 minutes, Darren Mattocks unleashing a brilliant side footed drive after cutting in past two defenders, but it was all too late for the Jamaicans.
The Panamanian federation was fined for its comments about the outcome of the semi-final, including a banner players posed with that said “Concacaf ladrones”, which roughly translates as “Concacaf crooks”.
Mexico is the champion of the 2015 Gold Cup.
Making the Confederations Cup would give the US some advantages heading into the 2018 World Cup. Guardado, who has 10 career Gold Cup goals, also scored in a 2007 finals loss to the USA and a 2011 victory over the Americans. Overall, the U.S. has a 3-1-1 record this year against teams ranked in the top 20 in the world.