MIAMI, Florida – This Friday at 7:00 PM ET, Concacaf will be airing a re-broadcast of two Concacaf Gold Cup classics, the first being the inaugural Gold Cup Final in 1991 between the United States and Honduras, followed by the 2019 Final between Mexico and the U.S. Both matches will be shown on Concacaf’s Facebook and YouTube pages, plus the Concacaf App.
The first ever Gold Cup Final was played on July 7, 1991, just two days after the U.S. and Honduras had defeated Mexico and Costa Rica in their respective semifinals. The fitness levels of both teams were to be tested and it made for an intense and tight contest with little margin for error.
Honduras would come out the stronger of the two sides and had the bulk of the chances in the first 45 minutes. Marco Anariba was leading the way in creating scoring opportunities for the Catrachos, but there was no way past U.S. GK Tony Meola.
The same could be said at the other end, as Honduras GK Belarmino Rivera kept the U.S. attack at bay in the second half.
A 0-0 draw after 90 minutes meant extra time, but the additional 30 minutes were a stalemate as well, leading to a dramatic penalty shootout.
From the spot, Marcelo Balboa kicked things off the for the U.S. and converted, as did Honduras’s Juan Castro.
But then things took a curious turn as the next two players for both sides were unable to find the back of the net. U.S. MF Paul Caligiuri and Honduras FW Eugenio Dolmo Flores ended the skids to make it 2-2.
On the fifth U.S. attempt, Ted Eck missed, giving Honduras a chance to win the crown if they could convert, but Antonio Zapata fired his effort over the crossbar.
Yet Honduras got another shot at victory when Brian Quinn was unable to beat GK Wilmer Cruz, who was substituted in at the end of extra time, giving Luis Enrique Calix an opportunity to win it for the Central Americans, but the Honduran FW failed to convert.
Dominic Kinnear for the U.S. and Luis Vallejo for Honduras would net their shots, as did Fernando Clavijo for the U.S., making it 4-3 in favor of the North Americans. It was up to Juan Carlos Espinoza to pull Honduras even, but his attempt went over the crossbar, giving the U.S. the first ever Gold Cup crown.