Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Mexico pulls off historic win against the US in W Gold Cup soccer match

The women’s national soccer team of Mexico scored a stunning 2-0 victory over the United States on Monday night in the group stages of the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup tournament.

Going into the match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, Mexico had played the U.S. 42 times in women’s soccer over the years — and the U.S. had won 41 of them, including 16 in a row.

Moreover, in the current world rankings, the United States is No. 2 behind Spain while Mexico is No. 35.

The historic victory in front of 11,612 fans — many of them enthusiastically supporting the visiting El Tri Feminil as the team is also known — earned Mexico first place in Group A of the tournament, which involves teams in the region known as Concacaf (the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football).

Next comes the knockout-stage quarterfinals on Saturday and Sunday at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles. Mexico’s opponent has yet to be determined.

The U.S. team will advance as well as Group A’s second-place team. The U.S. went into the Mexico match at the top of the standings after thrashing the Dominican Republic 5-0 and Argentina 4-0.

Heading into the match, the U.S. had won 41 of 42 previous meetings. (W Gold Cup/X)

The U.S. hadn’t lost a home game to a Concacaf opponent since a 3-1 defeat to Canada in 2020 — an unbeaten string of 80 matches over 23 years. 

Moreover, the U.S. squad hadn’t allowed even a single goal in its last 33 matches against Concacaf opponents.

All of that ended Monday night against a determined Mexican squad.

Mexico took a 1-0 lead in the 38th minute after a spectacular goal by Jacqueline Ovalle that followed a poor clearing attempt by the U.S. defense. Mexico’s second goal was just as good: a brilliant, curling shot by substitute Mayra Pelayo-Bernal during second-half stoppage time. 

Women’s soccer in Mexico has never risen to an elite level despite Women’s World Cup appearances 1999, 2011 and 2015. In 2023, however, the country won its first-ever gold medal at the Pan American Games, a game in which Ovalle also scored a decisive goal.

Mexico coach Pedro López said he was proud of his players, but said they don’t want to go down in history as simply the team that upset the U.S. once.

“I insist that, for us, it would be of no use if in the next game we lose the quarterfinals,” he said.

With reports from Proceso and CNN

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