It was a tense game in the CONCACAF cup as Mexico clinched a spot in the Confederations Cup by defeating the US 3-2 in extra time. Although the game was always on edge, it was pretty lopsided as Mexico were the significantly better side. Mexico started the better and worked a good dummy and lay-off play to setup Javier Hernandez with an easy finish in the 10th minute. However, the US responded in the 15th when Geoff Cameron powered home a header. After that, the US grew into the game and played Mexico fairly even for the rest of the half.
The second half saw Mexico up the tempo and the US just stayed pinned in their half, but held on in regulation. The extra time saw more of the same as Mexico got a breakthrough when Paul Aguilar got behind the defense and setup Oribe Peralta with a cut back that he blasted into the net. Mexico sank back, which was really their only mistake in the game, and the US found some space when DeAndre Yedlin drove at the backline and slipped a pass behind the defense which Bobby Wood slotted under the keeper first time. The game appeared to be headed to penalties but Paul Aguilar came through again as a second ball in after a set piece found him which he blasted past Guzan for the winner minutes before the end of the second time.
Here are my player ratings.
He did not have a chance on any of the goals, but his distribution, especially on goal kicks, was erratic.
One of his worst games in a US jersey. He kept everyone onside of the first goal and his touch was sloppy and his passing was imprecise.
His goal was a huge boost and his defending was tremendous. He made a couple of long runs out of defense that helped relieve some pressure.
His defending was impressive although his clearances were sloppy and he was quite lucky not to concede a penalty for a handball in regulation.
He had some good moments pushing into attack, but tired badly as Aguilar grew in presence throughout the game including his involvement in the last two goals.
Anonymous in attack, although was unlucky not to get the ball on one break right before he was subbed. He tracked back well, but never got a chance to use his pace.
He struggled early, but got better after the opening goal. However, he like everyone on the US was dominated in midfield and can only really be praised for his work rate.
He had good moments pushing up including a couple of late runs that he should have done better with. His set pieces were solid including assist, but like everyone else, he spent most of the game defending.
It was a mixed bag. He was one of the few players capable of holding the ball in tight space and getting the ball out to start counters. Many of the best moves for the US were started by him. However, he tired and his defending of the Aguilar was a major problem.
He didn’t get much service, but there were moments where he tried a tough pass or dribble when a simple move would have been better.
He worked hard, but he was asked to do a lot of defensive work in the second half (strangely since he would be better at holding the ball up instead of Dempsey).
He took a while to settle and never got into rhythm with the team, but he did setup the second goal in a single moment when he found space to attack.
His pace and movement gave the attack some dynamism and his finish was nicely taken. He still has to prove himself as a starter, but he has found a place as an impact substitute.
He came on late and did good defensive work when he was challenged.