18. Gold Cup ’91 semifinal, Los Angeles; July 5, 1991: US 2, Mexico 0
Not much was expected from the United States in the early 1990s. The U.S. had qualified for the World Cup for the first time in four decades and played like a minnow who went 40 years in between World Cups in Italy ’90. Mexico, meanwhile, was trying to dust itself off after having been suspended from the World Cup by FIFA. Mexico had wins of 3-1 (over Canada) and 4-1 (over Jamaica) to their credit in the group phase while the U.S. also had a strong showing in the group stage, winning all three of their games. A heavy favorite to win their game against their northern neighbors, Mexico instead failed to score in the first half. John Doyle put the Americans up early in the second half while Peter Vermes put the game away midway through the second half. A day later, Mexico coach Manuel Lapuente handed in his resignation. The Americans went on to win the inaugural Gold Cup, beating Honduras in the final.
United States: Meola; Caligiuri, Balboa, Doyle, Clavijo (Armstrong, 83), Quinn, Henderson, Murray, Perez, Vermes, Wynalda (Eck, 71).
Mexico: Larios; Hernandez, Herrera, Ruiz, Esparza, Munoz, De la Torre (Espinoza, 57), Farfan, Galindo (83. Garcia), Alvez, Hermosillo.
US – Doyle 48
US - Vermes 61