Dos a cero: USA women defeated by Mexico for second time ever

Goals from Lizbeth Ovalle and Mayra Pelayo lifted Mexico to a stunning 2-0 win over the US women’s national team on Monday in the final group match of the Concacaf W Gold Cup in front of 11,612 spectators at Dignity Health Sports Park.

The win was only the second for Mexico against the US in 43 games, the first almost 14 years ago in Cancun. And the result was well deserved: Ovalle put Mexico ahead going into the 38th minute and Pelayo doubled the lead midway through second-half stoppage time.

Mexico came out aggressively and physically, making the US very uncomfortable in the first half, much of which was played at the US end. As a result, the US did not get their first shot on target until the 35th minute, when Emily Fox’s attempt from outside the penalty area was parried wide by Mexican goalkeeper Esthefanny Barreras at the left post.

Two minutes later, Ovalle put Mexico ahead by taking the ball from Becky Sauerbrunn’s foot, dribbling alone into the penalty area and then lifting a soft left-footed shot over goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and just under the crossbar.

This was the first goal the US has allowed in the tournament and only the third since November 2022. And Mexico almost conceded another goal in first-half stoppage time when Karla Nieto beat Naeher from distance and saw her right-foot shot. bang from the bar.

The U.S. has not allowed two goals in the same match in 22 games and more than 15 months, but that streak came to an end when Pelayo hit a shot over a leaping Naeher from well outside the penalty area.

The US started six World Cup champions and brought two more off the bench, but at times the chemistry was so off that it was as if the players had never met, let alone played together. They left Naeher to keep them in the match and made a trio of fine saves in the final seven minutes to keep her team within a goal before Pelayo sealed things.

With the victory, Mexico (2-0-1) enters the quarterfinals of the tournament at BMO Stadium as group champions. The USA (2-1-0) also advances as the second-place team.

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In the other group final, Argentina defeated the Dominican Republic 3-0 after goals from Dalila Ippolito, Celeste dos Santos and Maricel Pereyra, keeping its chances of advancing to the quarter-finals as third place alive.

Argentina finished the first round 1-1-1, while the Dominican Republic, defeated 16-0, went winless in their first regional competition and were eliminated.