Mexico v USA: Six to Savor

The USA's Alejandro Bedoya (white jersey) and Andres Guardado of Mexico compete against each other in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, one of the most memorable games in the competition's history. (Photo: Mexsport)

PASADENA, California -- Passions are stirred on both sides of the border every time Mexico and the United States meet on a football field.

In 64 all-time games between them, the Tricolor holds a 32-19 advantage in wins. Since the introduction of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1991, however, the rivalry has truly blossomed into one of the world’s most intense.

As the first-ever CONCACAF Cup draws near, the time is right to recall their classic clashes.

Here are six to savor:

1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Semifinals

July 5, 1991: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – Los Angeles, California, USA

United States 2, Mexico 0

In the inaugural Gold Cup, the USA shocked Mexico 2-0 on a pair of second-half goals. John Doyle (48’) and Peter Vermes (64’) found the back of the net, while goalkeeper Tony Meola recorded a shutout. The Bora Milutinovic-led Americans went on to lift the trophy, overcoming Honduras in the final on penalty kicks.

1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Final

July 25, 1993: Estadio Azteca – Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico 4, United States 0

Mexico captured the first of its seven Gold Cup crowns in stunning fashion. A Gold Cup-record crowd of 130,800 witnessed the Tricolor seize a 2-0 halftime lead behind a tally by Ignacio Ambriz (11’) and an own-goal by Desmond Armstrong (30’). The host sealed the outcome as Luis Roberto Alves (70’) and Guillermo Cantu (79’) also netted.

1999 FIFA Confederations Cup, Semifinals

August 1, 1999: Estadio Azteca – Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico 1, United States 0

Cuauhtemoc Blanco beat goalkeeper Kasey Keller to strike for a golden goal seven minutes into extra time, boosting Mexico into the final. Mexico custodian Jorge Campos registered the clean sheet. The Mexicans went on to defeat 1998 World Cup runner-up Brazil in the final, 4-3.

 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, Final Round

February 28, 2001: Columbus Crew Stadium – Columbus, Ohio, United States

 United States 2, Mexico 0

The Americans had already had lost their most dangerous scoring threat, Brian McBride, to a swollen eye, and their best playmaker, Claudio Reyna, was hobbling with a strained groin muscle. In McBride's place entered the four-time capped Josh Wolff, who became the unlikely hero of a spectacular triumph. He scored the first goal two minutes into the second half and set up the second — a late tally by Earnie Stewart (87’).

2002 FIFA World Cup, Round of 16

June 17, 2002: Jeonju World Cup Stadium – Jeonju, Korea Republic

United States 2, Mexico 0

In a rare all-CONCACAF confrontation at the World Cup, the USA prevailed in the pairing’s most important encounter. McBride (8’) and Landon Donovan (65’) each scored to propel the Americans into the quarterfinals against Germany.

2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Final

June 25, 2011: Rose Bowl – Pasadena, California, USA

United States 2, Mexico 4

The old adage says that a 2-0 advantage is the most dangerous lead in football and Mexico proved it in front of 93,420 spectators. Michael Bradley (8’) and Donovan (23’) had put the Americans ahead, but the Tricolor roared in response. By halftime, it had equalized behind Pablo Barrera (29’) and Andres Guardado (36’), before Barrera (50’) struck again for a 3-2 lead. Giovani dos Santos (76’) added one of the greatest goals in Gold Cup history to punctuate the scoreline.