In the first significant game for either team since the World Cup, the US soccer team thrashed Mexico 3-0 in the semi-finals of the regional championship tournament in Las Vegas on Thursday night. Two goals from American star Christian Pulisic and a goal from forward Ricardo Pepi helped the USA advance to the tournament final, the Concacaf Nations League. The United States team won the first tournament in 2021.
Hard fouls and homophobic chants
The game was ugly on the field – four red cards, a bull run, a torn jersey, a nosebleed – and off. After another homophobic chant from the crowd, referee Ivan Burton did not play the full 12 minutes that had been announced and ended the match after eight minutes of stoppage time.
Players and officials from the Mexican Football Federation and Concacaf, the North, Central American and Caribbean football federation, have made many efforts over the years to persuade fans to stop shouting homophobic slurs during matches. Mexico has been fined more than a dozen times for its failed efforts to stamp out homophobic abuse that remains a hallmark of the Latin American gaming world. A few years ago, Mexico even enlisted the help of its stars to persuade fans to stop using them.
But after Mexico’s struggles at last year’s World Cup saw another lackluster performance, fans became increasingly unsettled, chanting the words during a controversial second half. Burton stopped play for the first time in the 90th minute when chants rang out, and Concacaf public broadcasts urging fans to stop were broadcast throughout the stadium. When the same thing happened again a few minutes later, he followed the protocol of the tournament organizers and blew the final whistle to end the one-sided match.
US interim manager BJ Callahan: ‘I want to be clear’ told reporters After that, “it has no place in the game”.
what’s next? The final is USA vs Canada.
The United States will face Canada in the Nations League final in Las Vegas on Sunday night. In the other semi-final on Thursday, Canada beat Panama 2-0 with goals from Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies.
However, due to the red card against Mexico, the US will be without two key players. Midfielder Weston McKechnie and defender Serginho Dest were sent off for pushing a Mexican player in a tough situation.
A foul on Foralin Balogun sparked a brawl and McKennie was sent off in the 70th minute. McKennie had his shirt ripped in the disturbance.
In the 86th minute, a red card was shown after a fist-fight between Gerardo Arteaga and Dest after a tough attack near the sidelines.
Goals: 2 Pulisic, 1 Pepi.
Pulisic shrugged off the Mexican defense for much of the game before scoring his first goal in the 37th minute, picking up a rebound near the top of the penalty area and dribbling past Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa for a left-footed shot. . Less than two minutes into the second half, Pulisic extended the lead to two with a perfectly placed cross from Tim Weah.
Pepi calmly scored a low shot from Desto’s fine individual effort that cut through the Mexican defense, then sent Pepi a through ball to make it 3-0.
State of Mexico? It’s a crisis.
The loss was Mexico’s most one-sided loss to the United States in 23 years, and the team’s new coach Diego Cocca has already made headlines. Kokka took the job in February after Mexico’s streak of reaching the World Cup finals ended. But just a few months after joining the company, he’s already facing questions about his future. A Mexican reporter asked him if he planned to resign after Thursday’s defeat.
“I’m dreaming of a three-and-a-half-year process, not four months,” Kokka told reporters after the game in Spanish.