Christian Pulisic converted a penalty in the 114th minute, back-up goalkeeper Ethan Horvath stopped Andres Guardado’s spot kick in the final seconds and the United States overcame an early defensive blunder to beat Mexico 3-2 on Sunday night in a final of the first Concacaf Nations League that turned on three video reviews.
Gio Reyna and Weston McKennie scored as the US twice overcame deficits against Mexico, who led after just 63 seconds.
Pulisic, fresh from winning the Champions League with Chelsea, cut inside the penalty area and was pulled down by Carlos Salcedo in the 108th minute. Panamanian referee John Pitti did not initially signal a penalty but consulted a video review and then pointed to the spot. Mexico coach Tata Martino appeared to receive a red card for putting a hand on an official during the review and Hirving Lozano was given a yellow card for arguing after the decision. Pulisic sent the ball past goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa for his 16th international goal.
Mexico were then awarded their penalty in the dying seconds after a video review. Horvath, who replaced injured starter Zack Steffen in the 69th minute, waited to the last moment and dived right to bat away the penalty by Mexico’s captain, Guardado.
In a testy match, Reyna scored the first US goal and had been subbed off when he appeared to be hit on the face by an object thrown from the stands following Pulisic’s goal. The match had been halted for about three minutes during second-half stoppage time because of discriminatory chants at Empower Field.
Jesus Corona put Mexico ahead 63 seconds in after a sloppy giveaway by Mark McKenzie, who made a poor pass in his own penalty area right into the path of Corona, who finished past Steffen.
Mexico appeared to go up 2-0 in the 24th minute when Herrera’s cross to the unmarked Hector Moreno was headed in. After a brief delay for the video review, the goal was disallowed for offside.
Reyna scored his third international goal when Pulisic’s corner kick was headed by McKennie off the far post and rebounded in front of the goal, where Reyna finished from close range. He followed his father, Cluadio, who scored against Mexico in a 4-0 win in Washington DC in 1995.
Steffen appeared to hurt his left knee while coming out for a rolling ball and was replaced by Horvath in the 69th minute. Diego Lainez then scored nine minutes later and El Tri appeared to be headed for the title until McKennie popped up in the 82nd minute to send the game into extra-time.