USA, Mexico meet for third straight Gold Cup final

Los Angeles: Mexico and the United States meet in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament on Saturday for the third consecutive time.

Mexico and the US have won nine of the 10 Gold Cups contested since the biennial tournament took its current form in 1991.

Mexico dominated the United States 5-0 in 2009 and the Americans beat El Tri 2-1 two years earlier.

The two sides meet again Saturday in a sold out contest at the Rose Bowl stadium near downtown Los Angeles.

Aldo de Nigris and Javier "El Chicharito" Hernandez scored off corner kicks early in overtime and Mexico defeated Honduras 2-0 in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

The Americans advanced but also struggled in a 1-0 win over Panama in the other semi-final.

Mexico have outscored their five Gold Cup opponents by an aggregate score of 18-2. They are also undefeated in their last 11 Gold Cup games, with nine wins and two draws.

Mexico scored a tournament high 14 goals in group play.

The contest should be a matchup of Mexico`s high-powered offence against the defensive-minded Americans.

The Americans head into the game after not having given up a goal in 322 minutes of action.

Landon Donovan and Freddy Adu were two of the best American players in the semis and both started the game on the bench.

The 22-year-old Adu hadn`t played in this year`s tournament before being inserted into the match in second half.

After a scoreless first period, US coach Bob Bradley also put Donovan into the game in the second half, when he combined with Adu on the winning goal.

Bradley had been under fire after the US were upset by Panama in the group play earlier in the tournament.

"Even though it wasn`t our best game we were still able to grind out a result," said American Clint Dempsey who scored the only goal Wednesday on a setup from Donovan, after Adu started the play in his own end.

Adu had not played for the national team since the 2009 Gold Cup.

Panama`s loss Wednesday was their fourth consecutive defeat to the Americans in the knockout stages.

Bureau Report

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