EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JUNE 18: Fans of Mexico cheer on their team during the match against Guatemala during the 2011 Gold Cup Quarterfinals on June 18, 2011 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Well it didn't go quite as smoothly as any of us expected at the start, but the dream final for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup will indeed be the United States of America vs. Mexico.
The States made the final on the backs of a surprisingly good performance against the same Panama team that defeated them 2-1 earlier in the group stage of the tourney. Freddy Adu got his first cap for the USMNT in ages with a second half substitution for Juan Agudelo and took the opportunity to make a brilliant pass to Landon Donovan who slotted it to a sliding Clint Dempsey in the box for the USA's only goal of the match. The defense shone for the States all day, keeping Panama's shooting to a minimum and stealing the ball seemingly at will. This was by far the Yanks' best game of the tournament. This will be the fourth tournament in a row that the United States will make the final of.
Mexico had a tough time in their game against Honduras, looking rusty and tired the entire match as passes went errant, headers missed the post and Los Catrachos stole the ball seemingly at will sometimes. The match needed an extra 30 to be solved, but Mexico finally found their scoring touch nine minutes into the extra time and slotted home two goals - including one from a until-then frustrated Chicarito - to win 2-0. The extra 30 minutes played may be a saving grace for the United States, as Mexico will be just that tiny bit more tired after only two days of rest.
The final will be at 7 PM Mountain Time on Saturday. Make sure to tune in and watch the United States have a chance to win their first Gold Cup since 2007.