CHICAGO (AFP) - The United States used two second-half goals to rally for a 2-1 victory over Mexico here Sunday in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup regional football tournament.
Benny Feilhaber scored the match-winner in the 73rd minute, as he volleyed a deflection off a corner kick from the top of the arc past Mexican goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez into the far upper corner of the goal.
Landon Donovan had taken the corner, bending a kick in front of the goal that went straight toward Feilhaber off a Mexican defender.
"As the ball came towards me in the air, I just thought about getting good contact on it," Feilhaber said. "I had two chances like it in the El Salvador game and didn't hit them very good.
"On this one, I knew when I hit it, it was going in. That felt great - a great goal at a big time and against Mexico in the Gold Cup, unbelievable."
Donovan had converted a penalty in the 62nd minute to pull the USA level at 1-1.
US goalkeeper Tim Howard preserved the win with a point-blank save of Nery Castillo's effort in the 89th.
Donovan's penalty was his 34th career international goal.
Jonny Magallon took down Brian Ching in the penalty area to give the US the attempt from the spot.
"I would have a great shot, but the guy put his leg out and tripped me, so they can think what they want and complain all they want," Ching said.
Donovan's goal tied him with Eric Wynalda atop the all-time list among American players. It was also Donovan's 12th Gold Cup goal, tying him for most along with former Mexican striker Luis Roberto Alves.
"This was a great game," Donovan said. "At halftime, we realized we were down to our last 45 minutes and we had to step it up. Then we did the right things to win the game."
The U.S. trailed Mexico for the first time at home since 1999 after Jose Andres Guardado scored just moments before halftime. Guardado took a cross from Castillo and tapped it past Howard in the 44th minute.
"We did not come out strong and Mexico put us on our heels," United States coach Bob Bradley said. "Midway through the first half, we started finding some space and kept pushing forward."
Since 2000, the United States has won nine and lost only twice with one draw against regional arch-rivals Mexico. Eight of those victories have come on home soil.
"When you lose leaving what we did on the pitch, you cannot be sad," Mexico coach Hugo Sanchez said. "It bothers me, but we got better as we played through the tournament. The US played a more tactical game, but we deserved a better result. The team that plays best doesn't always win."
CHICAGO (AFP) - The United States and Mexico renew their rivalry at Soldier Field on Sunday when they meet in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup regional football tournament.
"It's our biggest rivals," US forward DaMarcus Beasley said. "Anyone who follows CONCACAF soccer knows it."
The two North American teams first played each other in 1934 in a World Cup qualifier. The United States won that game 1-0, but had to wait another 46 years to win again.
Since 2000, the United States have won eight and lost only twice with one draw. Seven of those victories have come on home soil.
"We have a great record against Mexico recently," goalkeeper Kasey Keller said. "Whenever we play them in the United States, the guys certainly seem to rise to the occasion.
"Let's hope we can do it one more time."
Those recent meetings have mainly been friendlies - as well as a handful of World Cup qualifiers.
The one that really mattered was in 2002, when the United States dumped Mexico out of the World Cup with a 2-0 win in Jeonju, South Korea.
"I imagine they are still upset about that," Beasley added. "I think they'll still be a little sore about that."
Sunday's matchup might not have happened but for a controversial call in the final minute of the United States' 2-1 semi-final win over Canada.
Atiba Hutchinson thought he had equalized in the final minute, only for the goal to be ruled offsides. Replays suggested the ball actually came off United States defender Oguchi Onyewu before finding its way to Hutchinson.
Mexico booked their place in the final with a 1-0 win over Guadeloupe.
A victory for either team would bring not only the Gold Cup crown but also a boost heading into the Copa America, which starts in Venezuela on Tuesday.