Miles Robinson headed home Kellyn Acosta's free kick deep into extra time, delivering an inexperienced US men's national team a historic 1-0 Gold Cup Final win over regional rival Mexico at Las Vegas' Allegiant Stadium on Sunday night.

Robinson settled the game in the 117th minute with his second goal of the tournament, beating El Tri to a curling ball that sealed the USMNT's second major tournament win over Tata Martino's team this summer. Back on June 6, the "A team" beat Mexico in the inaugural Concacaf Nations League Final.

Before the dramatic finish, Mexico striker Rogelio Funes Mori gave the host country's defense some early tests, with goalkeeper Matt Turner recording four saves in the first half. USMNT winger Paul Arriola had the opening half's best chances, most notably a 26th-minute opportunity that beat El Tri goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera, only to hit the outside of the post. Arriola was also at the spear of a promising counter-attack in the fifth and final minute of stoppage time, but pulled his shot wide.

The second half started with Eryk Williamson playing Sebastian Lletget toward goal seconds in, but just overhitting the potential assist. Mexico also had three chances in the half's first five minutes, including Oberlin Pineda shooting wide twice after getting sufficient separation from USMNT defenders.

Just past the hour mark, Gregg Berhalter made an audacious triple sub, putting Cristian Roldan in for Lletget and subbing both fullbacks, bringing Sam Vines and Shaq Moore into the match. Roldan almost immediately made an impact, sending a ball that bounced within range of Matthew Hoppe and Gyasi Zardes in his first bit of possession, which kicked the US into a higher gear and more purposeful attacking.

On a 74th-minute free kick from Acosta, Zardes and Arriola each had opportunities in the goalmouth, but Talavera somehow saved both attempts to maintain the deadlock. On the other end just two minutes later, Mexico sub and Inter Miami CF player Rodolfo Pizarro nearly orchestrated an El Tri goal in his first involvement. Despite other opportunities for both teams, including a Gianluca Busio hit that announced his entrance, the Concacaf rivals finished the first 90 minutes scoreless – thanks in large part to 31 USMNT clearances compared to Mexico's four – and moved into extra time.

In extra time, the US came closest on a 107th-minute connection between Roldan and Zardes, with the Columbus Crew striker's shot saved. Then came Robinson's huge moment in the 117th minute, sending Berhalter's team on a high note heading into 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying this fall.

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Goals

  • 117' – USA – Miles Robinson | WATCH
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Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Between the Nations League championship earlier this summer and this Gold Cup title, the Concacaf mantle has arguably shifted from Mexico to the USMNT for dominance within the region. El Tri will certainly have something to say about that in World Cup qualifying, but this rivalry has just escalated – if that's even possible.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Miles Robinson's goal. In a match where neither team could get past their opponent’s excellent goalkeeper and penalty kicks loomed, the Atlanta United center back capped a stellar tournament.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Miles Robinson distinguished himself with defensive interventions and an iconic goal, to be sure. But Kellyn Acosta arguably topped all that by covering ground, making crucial defensive stops and delivering the free kick that finally unlocked El Tri's defense. It was a fantastic showing from the Colorado Rapids midfielder.

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Up Next

  • USA: Thursday, Sept. 2 at El Salvador | World Cup Qualifying
  • MEX: Thursday, Sept. 2 vs. Jamaica | World Cup Qualifying

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