The Concacaf Nations League final encapsulated the good, the bad and the ugly of a feud some believed had lost its bite
The final of the Concacaf Nations League did not have the most auspicious build-up.
Delayed for several months due to the Covid-19 pandemic – and awkwardly wedged between the end of many club seasons and the beginning of more noteworthy summer tournaments – the culmination of the newly-formed competition initially appeared to be something of a forced assignment. Coupled with both Mexico and the US limping into Sunday’s final with questionable performances in the semis a few days beforehand, there was also reason to believe that the championship game could prove to be a letdown.
Instead, what proceeded was an unforgettable (and at times controversial) contest in Denver’s Empower Field at Mile High.
Following a frenzied 130-plus minutes of soccer that included two contentious penalties, two intense halves of extra-time, a red card for Mexico manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino, fans throwing projectiles on the field, a fan running on to the field, fights between players, and back-up goalkeeper Ethan Horvath coming off the bench to secure the trophy for the Americans, it’s tough to pick the highlight (and, indeed, lowlight) of the chaotic 3-2 win for the USMNT.
First and foremost though, we have to discuss the sheer spectacle of it all.
The modern day USA-Mexico rivalry . . .