Hector Herrera scored in the final seconds to earn Mexico a dramatic 2-1 victory over Canada in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals last night at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
The win put Mexico through to the Final for the second consecutive time and they will be aiming for their ninth Gold Cup title on Sunday in the Final against the United States.
It was a very wide open first 30 minutes in last night’s match, with each team having shots at goal throughout the half-hour.
Rogelio Funes Mori had the best chance for Mexico in the 16th minute with a hard shot that was blocked by Canada’s defender, Doneil Henry. A minute later, Stephen Eustaquio was poised to finish off a Canadian counterattack, but sent the shot over the crossbar.
Mexico continued to push for the opening goal and a surging run from Jesus Corona in the Canada area shortly before halftime led to a foul and a penalty. Orbelin Pineda stepped forward to take the spot kick and coolly delivered for a 1-0 lead.
Canada responded in the 57th minute to become the first team in the tournament to score against Mexico courtesy of a sensational individual move from Tajon Buchanan, whose right-footed shot beat Mexico’s goalkeeper, Alfredo Talavera to make it 1-1.
But Mexico put the Canadian defense on their heels again, and earned a penalty when Corona was fouled in the area, but this time the spot kick, attempted by defender, Carlos Salcedo in the 66th minute was saved by Canadian goalkeeper, Maxime Crepeau.
The match was on a knife’s edge going into the final minutes and Funes Mori was an inch away from a winning goal, only to see his header spin wide.
Just when it looked like the match would go into extra time, Mexico found the winning goal in the final seconds, with Herrera meeting the cross from Rodolfo Pizarro with a left-footed finish for the 2-1 victory.
The United States advanced to their third consecutive CONCACAF Gold Cup Final after a 1-0 semi-final victory over guest team Qatar last night in front of a sold-out audience of 20,500 at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas last night