Mexico, Gold Cup champion
The team of helmsman Gerardo Martino triumphed in the tournament in which he had the obligation to win the championship, and although it did not happen in a totally convincing way, it finally proved that CONCACAF is the big one.
Along the way, Mexico beat Cuba, Canada, Martinique, Costa Rica, Haiti, and the United States in a tournament in which they moved around the country, giving different exhibitions that will prepare this team for new challenges.
Jonathan Dos Santos scored the title goal in the 72nd minute of this match, which came when Raul Jimenez served as a heel for the youngest of the Dos Santos shoots from the left, sending the ball to the back of the nets.
The clash took place at Soldier Field in this city. With this championship, the Greens were confirmed as the most important winner of this tournament, with eight titles.
Mexico regained the title of Gold Cup champions and increased their CONCACAF hegemony by beating defending champions USA 1-0 in the final of the 15th edition.
The victory, the first under Argentina's new coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino, allowed Mexico to reach all eight titles in the nine Gold Cup finals it has contested and consolidates it as the leader of the champions.
Including the five he has won in his six meetings with the United States (5-1) since holding the first in the second edition of 1993 after the Bars and Stars team won the first (1991) by defeating Honduras 4-3 in the penalty shootout after completing normal time and extra time with a 0-0 draw.
It was the first CONCACAF "Classic" Gold Cup duel since 2011, when Mexico, who had scored 4-0 in 1993, repeated with another 4-2 after coming from two goals down, thanks to the double of Giovani dos Santos, the older brother of Jonathan, scorer of the goal with which the "Tricolor" won last night.
Mexico's other two wins in the finals against the United States came in the fourth edition of 1998, also 1-0, and in the tenth of 2009 with a 5-0 win, the biggest win between the two teams in the fight for the title.
The only defeat Mexico suffered against the United States was in 2007, at Chicago's Soldier Field, where the final match was played last night.
Although Mexico could not count on their best players in Europe, Martino formed a group of young values that are in the MX League and managed to give them a new style of play with which they did enough to be champions.
While the United States, which is also in the midst of reconstruction with a new cycle led by coach Gregg Berhalter and in which he initially bet on players from the U.S. Professional Soccer League (MLS), confirmed that midfielder Christian Pulisic has his great figure.
Pulisic, who will play for Chelsea this season, showed that he is at another level and at 20 years old is the great hope of American national team football.
Jonathan Dos Santos was in charge of scoring the goal that gave victory to the Mexican team. Photo: @miseleccionmx via Twitter
But their talent was not enough for the United States to retain the title of champions, who won in 2017 by defeating Jamaica 2-1, a feat they wanted to repeat for the second time after the 2005 and 2007 titles.
Now, the United States have to settle for six titles and see their dream of reaching Mexico and sharing "hegemony" in CONCACAF football wane again.
Canada, the other country to have won a Gold Cup title in 2000, started the group phase brilliantly but were surprised by Haiti, the surprise package of the tournament that reached the semi-finals, where a "dubious" penalty saved Mexico in extra time by winning 1-0.
Along with Haiti, another Caribbean team, Curaçao, was also a revelation, reaching the quarter-finals for the first time and holding the United States in suspense until the host team was finally able to win 1-0.
As for individual awards, Mexican striker Raul Jimenez, with five goals, was voted the tournament's best player and won the Golden Booty. His teammate, veteran goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, won the Golden Glove for best goalkeeper.
Pulisic received the Best Young Player of the tournament and another promise, the Canadian forward Jonathan David, with six goals, won the Golden Bottle and both were part of the Ideal Team, where there were seven other Mexican players and two more Americans.
As expected, the refereeing work, which did not have the VAR system, again generated criticism from everyone, including Martino, who cost him the suspension for a game for double accumulation of yellow cards.
While Concacaf, during the 23 days of the tournament, which again generated all kinds of criticism for the excess of travel, long distances and little time to rest, with 16 selections for the first time, achieved its great goal of having important economic gains
Only half a million tickets sold, at an average of 200 dollars, the Concacaf earned 100 million dollars, without counting all advertising revenues and television rights, which this edition was also higher.