Gold Cup: USMNT, Mexico to meet in final

It took late goals for both sides, but the United States and Mexico both survived tough CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals, defeating Qatar and Canada, respectively, to advance to Sunday's final in Las Vegas.

Substitute striker Gyasi Zardes won it for the U.S. in the 86th minute at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas. Defender Sam Vines intercepted a Qatar pass just inside midfield and headed a pass to substitute winger Nico Gioacchini, who drove into space and found midfielder Eryk Williamson at the top of the box. Williamson immediately played a return ball to Gioacchini, who squared a pass from the left side of the area to the top of the six-yard box, where Zardes slid onto the ball and buried a shot.

Later Thursday, Mexico and Canada appeared destined for extra time, knotted at one, until Héctor Herrera's left-footed, one-time shot — set up by Rodolfo Pizarro — found the back of the net nine minutes into stoppage time.

The U.S. and Mexico last played in June, when the USMNT won 3-2 in extra time in the CONCACAF Nations League final.

Qatar outplayed the U.S. for most of the match and should’ve gone ahead via penalty kick in the 61st, but captain Hassan Al-Haydos chipped his spot kick over the crossbar for a bad miss. The Middle Eastern nation, playing in the tournament on a guest invitation, outshot the U.S. 13-3 in the first half and would’ve taken the lead if not for some fine saves from American goalkeeper Matt Turner.

Mexico took the lead against Canada on the cusp of halftime via an Orbelén Pineda penalty kick. But Canada fought back, tying the game on a Tajon Buchanan goal in the 57th minute and hanging on when goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau saved a penalty attempt in the 66th minute.

Canada was seeking its first appearance in a Gold Cup final since winning the tournament in 2000.

(Photo: Robin Alam / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)