USA vs Mexico score, result, highlights as USMNT win third CONCACAF Nations League title with Dos A Cero victory

The scoreline will be familiar to USMNT fans, but the era of dominance is a very new feeling. A 2-0 victory over Mexico on Thursday in Arlington saw the United States win its third CONCACAF Nations League title in as many tries, giving the U.S. its first-ever seven-match unbeaten run against El Tri.

A thunderbolt from Tyler Adams just before halftime put the U.S. up, and Gio Reyna finished it off with a goal just past the hour mark in yet another “dos a cero” victory, which has become a popular term of endearment for the United States amidst their current run.

The U.S. felt lucky to even be in this position, having barely squeaked past Jamaica in the semifinals, but they improved mightily against a familiar foe, largely controlling Mexico’s counter-attack to create a calm once Adams gave his side the lead.

Tim Ream led the defensive effort as the U.S. completely smothered the Mexico buildup, both early as El Tri sat back and late as they panicked and threw attackers forward. Adams, dogged by injuries the last year, started an international match for the first time in 475 days, and produced a piledriver from distance which sent U.S. fans into a frenzy.

Meanwhile, Gio Reyna yet again ran the show from the U.S. midfield. While his role in this match wasn’t quite as flashy as his substitute appearance against Jamaica, he was tireless in his 79 minutes of action, sitting deep and beginning progression while also arriving in the final third to help with goal creation.

While the United States celebrated another continental trophy, Mexico will once again go back to the drawing board and look to figure out how to usher the national program back to its former glory, having fallen so far from its age of dominance.

Next up for both sides is the Copa America this summer. While the U.S. will be looking up towards more globally established powers, hoping to test themselves against the likes of Uruguay and Brazil to see what level they’ve grown to, while Mexico hope to avoid the bottom falling out.

The Sporting News followed the USA vs Mexico match live, providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happened.

USA vs Mexico final score

  Score Goal scorers
USA 2 Adams (45′),
Reyna (64′)
Mexico 0

Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. local (9:15 p.m. ET / 6:15 p.m. PT)
Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, TX)
Referee: Drew Fischer (CAN)

Starting lineups:

USA (4-2-3-1, right to left): 1. Turner (GK) — 2. Dest, 3. Richards, 13. Ream, 5. A. Robinson — 8. McKennie, 4. Adams (Cardoso, 46′) — 21. Weah (Tillman, 90′), 7. Reyna, 10. Pulisic (Aaronson, 90′) — 14. Wright (Balogun, 66′).

Mexico (4-3-3, right to left): Ochoa (GK) — J. Sanchez, Montes, J. Vasquez, Gallard (Arteaga, 90′) — E. Sanchez (Pineda, 65′), E. Alvarez, Chavez (Romo, 80′) — Antuna (Gimenez, 65′), Martin, Lozano.

USA vs Mexico postmatch analysis

Another Gio Reyna masterclass renders his club struggles baffling

Gregg Berhalter made it clear before the semifinal against Jamaica that whatever the situation with Gio Reyna at the club level, he would always have a place at the national team ready for him, because they know what he brings to the table.

That was never more evident than in this March international window, when Reyna came off the bench to rescue the U.S. against Jamaica before starting and starring against Mexico. Reyna was named the Player of the Competition for the Nations League, a well-deserved honor for his exceptional performances.

Reyna’s contributions in the final were evident not only of his talent, but his high work rate and versatile tool box. The youngster was asked to do more dirty work than fans are used to seeing, dropping deep on many occasions as Mexico flooded the midfield and cut off the central options for Tyler Adams and Tim Ream. Yet he still managed to crop up in the penalty area and find his goal, while troubling Mexico with his passing range and vision.

So, what is it that Nuno is seeing at Nottingham Forest that leads him to leave Gio Reyna on the bench time and time again? Because from this perspective, he could be an asset to just about any Big Five European club, especially one looking to avoid relegation from the richest league in the world.

Tim Ream shines again as the USMNT’s defensive rock

As their other center-back options continue to struggle with fitness, form, and development, the United States have continually leaned back on Tim Ream for a steady presence along the back line. Now 36 years old, Ream was a standout performer in defense for the U.S. next to a shaky Chris Richards.

While Richards struggled to deal with moments in and out of possession, Ream was there to vacuum up the problems. The Fulham defender was on hand to snatch the ball as Richards lost possession 15 minutes into the game under heavy pressing, and rose high to clear a dangerous free-kick in stoppage time as the game came to a close.

It’s a problem for the United States that Ream remains the only go-to defensive option, while the likes of Richards, Miles Robinson, and Cameron Carter-Vickers continue to revolve through the other spot without anyone establishing themselves as the first-choice regular. But for now, it’s wonderful to watch a beloved player continue to perform at such a level.

Where does Mexico go from here?

A question El Tri fans have had to ask themselves repeatedly over the years is, “what now?” They’ll be doing the same again here as Mexico once again find themselves second-best to their northern neighbors, their former dominance having completely dried up.

They have suffered seven straight games against the United States without victory for the first time ever, and have gone 491 minutes — over three years — without a goal against the U.S. in a competitive match. Tack on the group stage exit from the 2022 World Cup, and there’s a dismal air around the Mexico camp as they look into the future.

There’s a stark lack of talent in this El Tri player pool, and it would take a dissertation to break down why that is. Jesse Marsch summed it up perfectly after the match at the CBS Sports desk, saying the gulf in talent between the two sides is evident. How does Mexico come back from this, and is it possible?

USA vs Mexico live updates, highlights, commentary

FULLTIME: USA 2-0 Mexico

That’s it, the United States win their third CONCACAF Nations League title in three tries! In the process, the U.S. has secured its first-ever seven-match unbeaten run against Mexico!

It’s a far too familiar scoreline for both sides. For the U.S. it was a monumental improvement from the dud on Thursday which saw the U.S. lucky to progress out of the semifinals. For Mexico, it was another reminder that the current crop of internationals are not up to standards required.

USA vs Mexico: Second Half

90+2 min: While the match is paused, both sides make substitutions. Brenden Aaronson and Malik Tillman will enter for the United States, replacing Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah, while Jesus Gallardo is yanked for Gerardo Arteaga.

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The players look frustrated about the stoppage but the step is necessary to end this nonsense.

88th min: Chance, USA! Memo Ochoa makes a huge save on Johnny Cardoso right on the doorstep! Chaos in the box as a cross from the left pings around before falling to Johnny near the left post. The U.S. midfielder raises his foot to meet the bouncing ball and taps it towards goal, but Ochoa is right there to close down the chance and poke it away.

The referee then stops the match as step two of the protocol to stamp out the homophobic chant from Mexico fans. Once play resumes, there will be six minutes of stoppage time added on, but for now the game pauses. Mexico fans just cannot help themselves, it’s really pathetic.

85th min: Another half chance for Mexico as Tim Ream rises high to clear the initial free-kick delivery. It bounces to Orbelin Pineda who produces a leg-whip and rifles the shot over the crossbar. That never really came close to troubling Matt Turner.

79th min: Gio Reyna is being withdrawn, having run himself ragged with an absolutely exceptional shift today. He has a hug with Gregg Berhalter, who calls upon Yunus Musah to replace him. Reyna looks utterly knackered, he’s been wonderful.

Luis Romo enters for Mexico, with Luis Chavez brought off.

75th min: The introduction of Santiago Gimenez and the desperation for Mexico has turned the tide of this match as El Tri are pushing high up to try and find a way back into this match. The U.S. have had a lot of desperation defending to do.

73rd min: PENALTY, MEXICO! Antonee Robinson fouls a Mexican attacker by looking to clear the ball, seeming to catch Santiago Gimenez with the follow-through! However, replays show there’s little to no contact, and a VAR review ensues! It doesn’t take long at all for the referee to decide NO PENALTY, and he produces a yellow card for Gimenez for diving!

70th min: Mexico fans are frustrated with the referee as no foul is called on Antonee Robinson who uses his body to shove Santiago Gimenez off the ball for a goal kick. There’s a lot of contact but defenders are often given a lot of leeway to make moves like that.

And now it’s that awful chant from the Mexico fans which raises its ugly head once again.

66th min: Mexico boss Jaime Lozano acquiesces to the crowd, bringing on Santiago Gimenez alongside Orbelin Pineda, withdrawing the recently booked Uriel Antuna as well as Erick Sanchez. Gregg Berhalter responds by changing strikers, bringing Folarin Balogun on in place of Haji Wright, who played well despite not scoring.

64th min: GOAL! USA! GIO REYNA MAKES IT DOS A CERO! A Christian Pulisic cross deflects off Haji Wright and is cleared, but only as far as Reyna who leaps to meet the bobble and snaps his leg at the ball, rifling it into the back of the net!

63rd min: A third yellow card is shown to a Mexican player in this half, as Uriel Antuna has his pocket picked by Gio Reyna, and then he clips Reyna as the midfielder looks to break.

61st min: Chance, Mexico! Henry Martin misses wide at the near post! He brings down a long ball between two U.S. defenders, and cuts vertically past Sergino Dest. It’s well done by Dest to push Martin wide and cut the angle, and he gets the finish all wrong, rifling into the side netting. Mexico haven’t had many opportunities, so wasting that is a big moment.

The crowd makes it clear they want to see Santiago Gimenez brought on. Instead, Orbelin Pineda gets ready.

58th min: Now Edson Alarez is booked for a really hard studs-up two-footed challenge on Weston McKennie, and the game is starting to show the typical venom of this harsh rivalry. The tackle happened right in front of Gregg Berhalter, who took a step or two onto the field after the whistle is blown, and he has to be ushered back into his coach’s box.

55th min: Haji Wright picks the pocket of Johan Vazquez who then fouls the U.S. striker and is booked for it. The foul came just outside the penalty area, and Vazquez is wagging his finger at the referee but it’s clearly a booking for stopping the counter.

Christian Pulisic smashes the free-kick straight into the wall.

50th min: Chance, USA! Tim Weah, who’s causing a lot of problems since the start of the second half, smashes one to the near post that forces a good reflex save from Memo Ochoa. It was an early trigger pull for Weah, and Ochoa did well in a position where some goalkeepers might not have been ready to make a save in that position.

48th min: The U.S. gets forward and Tim Weah is on the ball in a dangerous position, but is tackled on the doorstep just before getting a shot off. The ensuing corner is taken short but doesn’t come to much.

46th min: The second half has begun, and just after giving the United States the lead, Tyler Adams is substituted off, replaced by Johnny Cardoso. That was maybe a bit earlier than we expected for Adams to come off, but his withdrawal isn’t surprising, as he continues to work back from a hamstring injury.

HALFTIME USA 1-0 Mexico

Well, after a very choppy first 45 minutes, Tyler Adams has put an emphatic stamp on the opening half. He crashes the ball into the top corner for the lead.

You would be hard-pressed to say the U.S. absolutely deserved a lead at the break, but they were probably the better side through the first half by a thin margin. They struggled to deal with Mexico’s clogged midfield and counter-attacking style, but they’ve done well to create more half-chances.

A lead is massive for the United States, because as the game went on and pressure grew, it would favor Mexico. Here now, it forces El Tri out of their shell which will help open up the midfield for the U.S.

USA vs Mexico: First Half

45th min: GOAL! USA! IT’S A TYLER ADAMS STUNNER ON HIS FIRST START IN OVER A YEAR! IT’S A 35-YARD HOWITZER FROM THE U.S. MIDFIELDER!!! WHAT A SENSATIONAL GOAL!

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As Mexico clear the initial delivery off a U.S. corner, Adams produces a truly spectacular strike from miles out in a central area. 475 days after his last start for the U.S. national team, Adams has given the USMNT a 1-0 lead on the stroke of halftime!

41st min: Edson Alvarez is frustrated after being fouled by Gio Reyna, and he gets up angrily pointing a finger at the U.S. midfielder. Gio doesn’t want any part of it, and just walks away. Good for Reyna not getting drawn in.

38th min: Chance, USA! Sergino Dest absolutely SAUCES two Mexican midfielders before ripping a shot on his left foot, and sails his effort over the crossbar but not by much! It’s a venomous hit and nearly an exquisite goal.

36th min: One problem the U.S. has is Gio Reyna is dropping incredibly deep to receive the ball from Tyler Adams and Tim Ream. This is because Mexico has completely clogged the middle of the pitch, forcing him back to give them an option. It’s either that, or force everything out wide, and that’s not what the U.S. wants to do.

27th min: Weston McKennie is the first player in this match to be booked for dragging back Hirving Lozano on the counter, which is a problem for the United States because Tyler Adams is probably going to be withdrawn from this at some point, so there’s less of a chance that Gregg Berhalter can also sub Wes off to protect him. The Juventus midfielder will have to be very careful the rest of the way in this match with significant needle.

24th min: Chance, Mexico! The visitors are starting to cause problems with long balls, and Uriel Antuna nearly latched onto one but he can’t turn and shoot between two U.S. defenders.

22nd min: Chance, Mexico! El Tri create danger with a long throw, and it bounces very kindly for Luis Chavez with space amongst the trees near the penalty spot, but he fluffs his off-balance shot and hits it weakly right at Matt Turner. That could have been dicey for the hosts if it had a better end product!

19th min: The U.S. has gained full control of this match. They are controlling possession and pinning Mexico back in their own half. Mexico nearly had a counter-attack but the referee blows for a foul on Edson Alvarez who goes flying into a 50/50 ball with Gio Reyna. It’s a contentions decision because both players got there at about the same time and the call stops a promising Mexico move, the first they’ve had in a while.

11th min: YIKES, Chris Richards nearly coughs up a huge chance to Mexico, pressed facing his own goal and nobody behind him. He gives it away but recovers enough to allow Tim Ream to retrieve the loose ball. That’s a very nervy moment for the U.S. defender that cannot happen again if the hosts wish to keep a lid on this game.

9th min: Both teams are trying to possess the ball, but this match has an underlying frenetic pace to it that feels ready to explode. The players on both teams are pumped full of adrenaline and flying around the field.

5th min: Chance, USA! GUILLERMO OCHOA STYMIES CHRISTIAN PULISIC! On his 150th international cap, the Mexican goalkeeping legend makes an exceptional save at his near post to keep Pulisic from finding the net early. His late run snatched a looping lateral ball out of the air and created the chance.

1st min: Right off the opening whistle, Mexico goes right at Sergino Dest, who commits an early foul before a slight finger wag at the referee. Dest will be a target for Mexico and will need to keep his wits about him. He was unable to do so in his last appearance, leading to a daft red card against Trinidad & Tobago. El Tri will know and exploit any mental weakness he shows.

Kickoff: Canadian referee Drew Fischer blows his whistle and they’re under way at AT&T Stadium! There are concerns about this pitch at AT&T Stadium, which is a few inches of sod laid on top of concrete, which hasn’t worked in the past, and hasn’t worked here either. We’ll see how it holds up tonight, but the seams are apparent and it was torn to pieces on Thursday between the two matches.

USA vs Mexico: Pre-match commentary, analysis, stats, and more

15 mins to kickoff: The U.S. may be playing on home soil, but they are going to be in a hostile environment tonight at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The USMNT took the field for warmups to a “smattering of boos” but there are estimates that the fan distribution is around 90% Mexico to just 10% USA. That’s shocking, but not terribly unexpected.

30 mins to kickoff: CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani was not about to be drawn on picking a side in tonight’s match, so he decided to split the difference and predict an exciting 3-3 draw that ends in a penalty shootout. How do you think this rivalry game will finish?

45 mins to kickoff: Gio Reyna, who has enjoyed his time with the national team even as his club situation remains a struggle, is starting for the United States. Reyna continues to contribute for the USMNT, and now has five goal contributions since Gregg Berhalter re-joined the team as head coach, the most of any player. Can he add to that total tonight in a trophy-winning effort?

1 hour to kickoff: Gregg Berhalter’s biggest lineup call is riding the hot hand with Haji Wright up front. The 25-year-old is a late-bloomer at the national team level, but he’s been around this setup for a while.

Wright was a superstar as a teenager in the youth national team setup, scoring goals in bunches as a 17-year-old, but faded as a full professional at the club level. He’s on fire now at Coventry City in the Championship, with 13 goals and six assists in 35 league games. After two goals off the bench in the semifinals, he now gets the chance from the start, with Folarin Balogun sent to the bench amidst a scoring drought.

1 hour 15 mins to kick: The USMNT lineup is out 15 minutes early. Sergino Dest comes into the XI after his suspension, but there’s a surprise as Tyler Adams is included just days after being subbed in and out thanks to his minutes limit while recovering from a long-term hamstring injury.

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Gio Reyna and Haji Wright have both earned a starting place after their extra-time heroics in the semifinal, as Folarin Balogun and Malik Tillman come out.

1 hour 30 mins to kick: There’s a report that Colombian-born winger Julian Quinones will not be fit for tonight’s match. That’s a blow to Mexico, who earned just his third international cap against Panama and grabbed his first goal for El Tri. He’s been absolutely on fire for Club America this season, with 16 goals and eight assists in 35 games across the current campaign.

It likely means that Uriel Antuna will retain his starting spot with Hirving Lozano being brought into the XI.

1 hour 45 mins to kick: Young Philadelphia product Cavan Sullivan may be years from the U.S. national team, but he’s already starting to become a household name. There’s some people out there calling him “the best 14-year-old in the world” and he is rumored to be on his way to joining Manchester City in the near future.

He made his Union II debut today, and of course, the midfielder picked up an assist.

2 hours to kickoff: As Gregg Berhalter crafts his lineup, all eyes will be on whether he selects Gio Reyna. The young star came off the bench and forced an extra-time one-two punch, and it’s blatantly obvious the USMNT is better with Reyna on the field.

Berhalter vociferously defended Reyna from questions about his inclusion in the U.S. roster after his lack of playing time at Nottingham Forest. Whatever the issues at his club are, they haven’t translated over to the U.S. national team. He should start tonight, and if he doesn’t, questions need to be asked of the decision-makers.

MORE: Why Gregg Berhalter’s defense of Gio Reyna is a big moment in repairing their relationship

USA vs Mexico lineups, team news

Fans have been clamoring for Gio Reyna to start this match after his introduction off the bench at halftime of the Jamaica match was an important injection of life, and he does just that, replacing Malik Tillman who simply didn’t have it in the semifinal. Tyler Adams also earns his first international start since the World Cup, entering for Yunus Musah, which is surprising given his clear minutes limit in the semifinal.

Sergino Dest is available after suspension in the semifinal, and his return is welcome as he replaces Joe Scally who was exceedingly poor against Jamaica. Gregg Berhalter has brought in the experienced Tim Ream at center-back, replacing either Miles Robinson.

After his brace against Jamaica, Haji Wright earns the start, with Folarin Balogun brought to the bench, still struggling to link up with his international teammates on the whole.

USA starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Turner (GK) — Dest, Richards, Ream, A. Robinson — McKennie, Adams — Weah, Reyna, Pulisic — Wright.

USA subs (12): Horvath (GK), Callender (GK), M. Robinson, McKenzie, Scally, Lund, Cardoso, Musah, Tillman, Aaronson, Pepi, Balogun.

Mexico head coach Jaime Lozano had a few things to consider after the scoreline in their win over Panama maybe betrayed some of their struggles. Panama out-passed and out-shot Mexico by significant margins, and El Tri were unable to dictate the tempo of the match even if they ran away as big winners.

He has brought Hirving Lozano back into the starting lineup after Chucky came off the bench for a half-hour in the semifinal. Uriel Antuna hasn’t exactly exactly impressed in recent years, but retains his place tonight as Julian Quinones is reportedly not fit to start, a blow after he scored his first international goal against Panama in the semifinal.

Mexico starting lineup (4-3-3): Ochoa (GK) — J. Sanchez, Montes, J. Vasquez, Gallardo — E. Sanchez, E. Alvarez, Chavez — Antuna, Martin, Lozano.

Mexico subs (12): Malagon (GK), J. Gonzalez (GK), Araujo, Arteaga, Orozco, Aguirre, Romo, Alvarado, C. Rodriguez, Pineda, Quinones, Gimenez.

How to watch USA vs Mexico

  • Date: Sunday, Mar. 24, 2024
  • Time: 8:15 p.m. local CT (9:15 p.m. ET / 6:15 p.m. PT)
  • TV channel (English): None
  • Streaming (English): Paramount+
  • TV channel (Spanish): UniMas, TUDN
  • Streaming (Spanish): Fubo, Univision Now, TUDN app

CONCACAF English-language broadcast rights in the United States are owned by CBS Sports, who will air this USMNT match exclusively on Paramount+, where you can watch every match of the Nations League semifinals, finals, and third place match during this March international break. There is currently a FREE trial on offer to new subscribers.

The matches, including this one, will also be televised in Spanish on TUDN and UniMas, which is available to stream in the United States on Fubo, offering a FREE trial for new users.

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