HIGHLIGHTS: Mexico vs. Canada | July 29, 2021
Hererra's goal puts Mexico into yet another high-profile meeting with the United States on Sunday night in Las Vegas after an earlier 1-0 win over Qatar from the host nation. Mexico won the 2019 Gold Cup final 1-0 over the Americans. The US earned a 3-2 win in extra time over Mexico this June in the Concacaf Nations League Final in Denver.
Oberlin Pineda put Mexico ahead from the spot in first-half stoppage time on a penalty that was awarded following a Video Review. Canada leveled 12 minutes after the break on an exceptional individual goal from New England Revolution winger Tajon Buchanan.
But in an exceptionally long period of second-half stoppage time – played in part because of a match stoppage due to FIFA's anti-discrimination protocol – Pizarro got free and the Inter Miami Ci man found Herrera lurking just beyond the penalty spot for a first-time finish that left Vancouver Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Crepeau with little chance.
- THE BIG PICTURE: It might not feel like it at the moment, but this may be a performance Canada leans on as they enter Concacaf World Cup Qualifying, nearly taking a regional power to extra time despite playing without several of their bigger stars. As for Mexico, this narrow victory may not foreshadow as much difficulty in the final as you'd expect: El Tri have reached eight consecutive semifinals and progressed six times – but this was only their second victory in regulation.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: After Crepeau's saves and another narrow second-half miss from Rogelio Funes Mori, the match appeared almost destined for extra time. But Pizarro – who entered only in the 78th minute for Pineda – had other ideas when finding Herrera in a perfect spot to hammer home the winner.
GOAL: Héctor Herrera scores for Mexico
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Tajon Buchanan. The 22-year-old is heading back to New England, but he made an impression on the entire region with his second-half performance when playing further advanced down the left flank, scoring a sensational equalizer in the process.
GOAL: Tajon Buchanan hits the back of the net for Canada
- MEX: Sunday, August 1 vs. United States in Las Vegas | Gold Cup Final (8:30 pm ET | FS1, Univision, TUDN)
- CAN: End of tournament