And my goodness, it was a brilliant one. If Siphiwe Tshabalala’s missile-of-a-strike is any indication of what’s to come, we are in for an exciting World Cup. While Mexico came back to tie the game up, thanks to a nice finish (and bad defense from South Africa) from Rafael Marquez.
Even though Bob Bradley has had to use about 500 different line ups and rotations for the Gold Cup, Team USA, thanks to timely goals from Clarence Goodson and Kenny Cooper, are going to finals, which take place this Sunday. Their opponent? Team Mexico, who beat Costa Rica on penalties in the nightcap game. While Goodson’s goal was equally impressive — it was his first for Team USA — Cooper’s finish was the highlight of the game, if, for nothing else, the nifty passing display used to get him the ball in a position to finish. A cheeky back-heel pass from Brian Ching led to a precise cross Stuart Holden — who looks like the best player on Bob Bradley’s “B-Team” — which Cooper had to simply tuck away.
Thank goodness for this year’s Gold Cup. Otherwise, I would be drowning in a world of Major League Baseball. Much like Santino Quaranta’s fantastic strike on Wednesday night, last night’s match between Panama and Mexico provided some fireworks; although, I don’t think they are the kind CONCACAF intended. What we have is Mexico’s coach, Javier Aguirre, helping out his defense in whatever way he can think of. In this case, with his legs; against an opposing Panamanian player in the field of play.