Mexico are winners of 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group A after emerging with a 1-0 win over El Salvador.
The long-time rivals played out a thrilling match in one of the best Gold Cup environments in memory, with both sets of fans making their voices heard throughout the 90 minutes for a compelling footballing atmosphere.
Mexico started off strong and their initial pressure paid off when Luis Rodriguez broke the deadlock 1-0 in the 26’ by receiving a pass from Hector Herrera on the right and firing a shot that took a slight deflection and rolled past El Salvador GK Mario Gonzalez.
Rogelio Funes Mori nearly made it two just minutes later off an inch-perfect pass from Erick Gutierrez, but Gonzalez came up with a big save.
It was the same story at the start of the second half in the 51’ when Gonzalez was called on to block another gilt-edged chance for Funes Mori.
El Salvador were having difficulty poking holes in the Mexico defense until the hour mark, when they kicked into gear and had two big scoring opportunities through Joaquin Rivas and Joshua Perez, but the former’s shot was saved by Mexico GK Alfredo Talavera and the latter’s was blocked by DF Hector Moreno.
That was the start of a breathtaking final half-hour, including an Alexander Larin free kick that stung the post in the 71’ for El Salvador, followed by Mexico’s Orbelin Pineda forcing a reaction save from Gonzalez.
As the minutes ticked away, every El Salvador foray forward was met with a tidal wave of cheers from the numerous El Salvador fans in attendance, however, the final touch against a resolute Mexican defense never surfaced, enabling El Tricolor to pocket the three points and claim top spot in the group.