CONCACAF: Mexico shocks USWNT, wins W Gold Cup group

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A 38th-minute goal by Jacqueline Ovalle and a score by Mayra Pelayo in second-half stoppage time led Mexico to a stunning 2-0 victory over the U.S. women’s national team in Carson, Calif., on Monday to win Group A of the CONCACAF W Gold Cup.

The victory snapped Mexico’s 16-match losing streak to the U.S. since a 2-1 win in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying event in Cancun, Mexico, on Nov. 5, 2010. The U.S. leads the series 40-2-1 and had blanked the Mexicans in the previous six meetings.

The U.S. entered the match having already qualified for the quarterfinals after defeating the Dominican Republic 5-0 and Argentina 4-0. The hosts needed a win or tie to claim the top spot in the group, but they wound up finishing second to Mexico.

Mexico had played Argentina to a scoreless draw before routing the Dominican Republic 8-0.

Ovalle put the Mexicans ahead and Pelayo provide the dagger with a strike to the upper right corner.

The match was evenly played early before Ovalle ran onto a long ball out of the back by Karla Nieto when U.S. defender Becky Sauerbrunn’s clearance hit her. Ovalle dribbled toward the goal, forcing goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to the top of the box for a challenge, but Ovalle took several touches to slide around her and put a left-footed chip into the net.

Mexico nearly doubled the lead at the end of the first half when Nieto sent a strike off the bar.

The best U.S. chance was Trinity Rodman’s shot on the Mexican goal on the 78th minute that was cleared off the line by Greta Espinoza.

Naeher then made back-to-back saves on Pelayo and Jasmine Casarez in the 86th minute to keep the U.S. in match.

Pelayo sealed the result with a spectacular, 22-yard blast over a leaping Naeher to cap a counterattack in the second minute of second-half stoppage time.

The quarterfinals are Saturday and Sunday in Los Angeles. The top two teams in the three groups and the two best third-place finishers will be reseeded at the completion of the group stage on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

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