I watched the Concacaf Gold Cup final last night; actually, it was a bit weird. We were out with friends when the game started, but I flipped on the DVR long enough to start recording when we got home. Oddly (and no doubt due to having the DVR on the right channel to begin with), when I went to watch the recording an hour later, I found that the recording included the entire game. Bonus.
It was also weird to turn on the game, and see the Tri-Colores in black. What the heck was going on with that?
Before I get to the play itself, I gotta say that the officiating was pretty terrible. Donovan got a card for a challenge that was much lighter than a number of later incidents by the Mexican players that didn't even rate a foul call. Was the US loss caused by that? No, but it certainly didn't help.
As far as the play itself, both sides played well, but the game was not nearly as close as the score would indicate. And it's amazing to me that the US held a lead (let alone a two goal one) at any point. They really didn't deserve it.
Despite what the announcers said, the US was outplayed from the start of the game. They did a good job to get the two goals they had, and both were good plays, but they didn't have the ball enough to deserve that lead. The US' first touch, a goal kick, came about two minutes in. It went straight to a Mexican player.
Really, there wasn't much positive for the US in the game. The two goals, between them, constituted about 30-45 seconds of good play, but that was almost the entirety of the good play in the first half. I think the US probably had about 20% possession in that half (when they put the stats up, do they measure that in number of passes, number of touches, or just total time (a dicey measure)?). It was ugly.
The second half, especially the second half of the second half, looked better, although one can't help but wonder whether that was because the US was playing from behind and Mexico was giving them a little bit more space.
The US defense, especially once Cherundolo got injured, just didn't have the pace to keep up with Dos Santos or Barrera, and couldn't keep track of Chicharito (it's amazing to me that he didn't manage to score).
So, it'll be interesting to see where the US team goes from here. Hopefully, this will keep them from standing pat on their lineup, especially across the back line. But I guess we'll have to wait and see.