Although the U.S. prevented Mexico's Javier Hernandez from scoring a goal in the Gold Cup final on Saturday evening at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, slowing down El Tri became a problem.
Pablo Barrera scored a goal in each half to lead Mexico to a 4-2 victory in the CONCACAF's regional tournament championship game. Hernandez had scored seven times in Gold Cup play in leading Mexico to the final.
The Americans grabbed a 2-0 lead midway through the first half on goals by Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan, but Mexico, which dominated play for most of the match, quickly rallied on goals by Barrera and Andres Guardado to even the score by halftime.
Pablo Barrera has struck again for Mexico, which has taken a 3-2 lead on a tough, angling 10-footer past the outreached arms of U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard in the 50th minute.
El Tri had three players in the attacking third with Andres Guardado controlling the ball in the middle of the field at the top of the box. He made a quick pass right to Barrera, and Barrera finished a tough strike from the right side to give his team the lead.
U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey missed a shot off the cross bar in the 58th minute that could have tied the score.
If Mexico holds on, it will be their second consecutive Gold Cup victory.
Mexico just barely missed taking a lead into halftime of the Gold Cup final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.