6. Gold Cup ‘98 final; Los Angeles; Feb. 15, 1998: Mexico 1, US 0
Days after beating Brazil by 1-0 in a CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal, the United States hoped its momentum would carry on into the final against Mexico, who survived an overtime semifinal affair with Jamaica to reach the final as well. Any momentum the Americans had after defeating the selecao went by the wayside, however, as Mexico flexed its muscle against its regional foes. As the game was not broadcast live, the excitement among area Mexican supporters for this match was over the top. A monstrous pro-Mexico crowd of 91,255 packed the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the game, and another several thousand fans who did not get tickets sought refuge in the nearby LA Sports Arena to watch the game on closed-circuit television. Luis Hernandez ensured that the masses that turned out would not go home disappointed as he buried a point-blank header in the back of the net just before halftime, a goal that gave the Mexicans a commanding and ultimately insurmountable lead. With the win, Mexico piled up its third consecutive Gold Cup title while the Americans were left scratching their heads and searching for answers.
United States: Kasey Keller; Mike Burns, Alexi Lalas (Brian McBride, 82), Eddie Pope, Jeff Agoos; Frankie Hejduk (Claudio Reyna, 76), John Harkes, Joe-Max Moore, Cobi Jones; Eric Wynalda, Roy Wegerle (Preki, 46).
Mexico: Oscar Perez; Pavel Pardo, Duilio Davino, Claudio Suarez, Salvador Carmona; German Villa, Roberto Medina, (Raul Rodrigo Lara, 66) Ramon Ramirez (Enrique Alfaro, 85), Javier Lozano (Braulio Luna, 55); Luis Hernandez, Cuauhtemoc Blanco.
Mexico – Hernandez 43