LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Christian Pulisic scored a goal in each half and Ricardo Pepi scored minutes after coming off the bench to lead the United States to a 3-0 win over Mexico in the Concacaf Nations League semifinal on Thursday.
Pulisic nearly opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with a driving run into the box and a dash of skill to elude the Mexican defense but his shot went over the bar. He did open the scoring when he sniffed the goal again in the 37th minute when he pounced on a ball loose in the box and deposited the ball past Memo Ochoa and in.
The USA captain from Hershey, Pa. doubled the lead just after halftime when he got on the end of a Tim Weah cross and finished it to make it 2-0. Pepi then made it 3-0 less than three minutes after subbing into the match when Sergino Dest played him into the box and he calmly finished past Ochoa.
The match was the first for interim head coach BJ Callaghan, a former Eastern Pennsylvania ODP coach who also coached at Villanova and the Philadelphia Union before joining the U.S. Soccer technical staff in 2019. He became just the second USMNT head coach (David Gould in 1939 was the first) to defeat Mexico in his first match in charge.
Though the U.S. finished the game with a dominant 3-0 win, the wheels fell off the game after that third goal. Already down to 10v10 on red cards shown to Weston McKennie and César Montes, Dest and Gerardo Arteaga both saw red after an altercation.
Dest and McKennie will both have to sit out for the Concacaf Nations League final against Canada on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. eastern.
Photo credit: Concacaf.com