MIAMI, Florida – At both the men’s and women’s levels, there is a long, storied history between Concacaf rivals Mexico and the United States.
At the men’s level, Mexico owns a 36W-15D-19L record against their Concacaf counterparts, with 142 goals scored and 80 conceded. Yet while Mexico largely dominated the first 50 years, things have been much more even in the last 30 years.
There was a noticeable shift beginning with the 1991 Concacaf Gold Cup when the U.S. defeated El Tricolor 2-0 in the semifinals thanks to goals from John Doyle and Peter Vermes, a victory which ultimately propelled the U.S. to the first ever Gold Cup title.
El Tricolor would avenge that defeat, however, two years later in front of a Gold Cup record crowd of 130,800 at the Estadio Azteca in the 1993 Gold Cup Final, the first of five Gold Cup Final meetings between the two nations. Goals from Ignacio Ambriz and a Desmond Armstrong own goal, plus scores from Zague and Guillermo Cantu earned Mexico a 4-0 win and their first of eight Gold Cup titles.
The Estadio Azteca was one again the site of a memorable affair, this time the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup semifinals and Cuauhtemoc Blanco would emerge as the hero for the home side in a 1-0 final, scoring a golden goal seven minutes into extra time to punch Mexico’s ticket to the Final, where they defeated Brazil 4-3.
Three years later, though, at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, there was a rare all-Concacaf meeting in a World Cup knockout round match in the Round of 16 and it was the U.S. enjoying the spoils, with a famous 2-0 win with goals from Brian McBride and Landon Donovan.
After splitting Gold Cup Finals in 2007 (U.S. winning 2-1) and 2009 (Mexico winning 5-0), the 2011 Gold Cup Final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California served as the tiebreaker for the third consecutive Mexico-U.S. Gold Cup Final and it was a thriller. The U.S. rolled to an early 2-0 lead through Michael Bradley and Donovan, but Mexico would mount the greatest comeback in Gold Cup Final history and scored four straight times (Pablo Barrera x2, Andres Guardado, Giovani dos Santos), with the Dos Santos goal being one of the greatest goals in Gold Cup history.
In 2015, the Rose Bowl was once again the scene for a classic Mexico-U.S. affair in the first ever Concacaf Cup. With a trip to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup on the line, Mexico took home a 3-2 win in extra time thanks to Paul Aguilar’s winning strike in the 118’.
The two would meet once more in a Gold Cup Final in 2019 at Chicago’s Soldier Field and it was Jonathan dos Santos serving as the hero with a goal in the 73’ to give Mexico their eighth Gold Cup crown.
On the women’s level, the U.S. has proved dominant, with 37 wins, one draw and one defeat. The latest U.S. victory came in the semifinals of the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship as the reigning Women’s World Cup champions claimed a 4-0 win through Rose Lavelle, Samantha Mewis (x2) and Christen Press.
However, Mexico’s lone victory against the U.S. was certainly one to remember, as El Tricolor defeated the U.S. 2-1 in front of the home fans in Cancun, Mexico in the 2010 Concacaf Women’s Championship to clinch a berth in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany.