Osorno scores in extra time to win Gold Cup for MexicoPosted: Sunday July 27, 2003 4:15 PM
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Daniel Osorno threaded a 15-meter goal between three Brazilian defenders seven minutes into extra time to give Mexico the CONCACAF Gold Cup championship 1-0 Sunday.
Mexico went through the entire series without allowing a goal.
Victory also earned Mexico a berth in the 2005 Confederations Cup in Germany.
It was a vindication for Mexico's Argentine-born coach Ricardo Lavolpe, who had been heavily criticized before the Cup began.
"I dedicate this victory to Ricardo, who had confidence that I could play" Osorno said.
Lavolpe himself said that, "After 25 years in this country and after everything the Mexico has given me, the thing I most wanted was to give joy to the people."
President Vicente Fox added his endorsement while phoning in congratulations.
"I think Ricardo has a lot of virtues," he said.
"I'm very happy with this victory. You fought against all obstacles," Fox said in a broadcast conversation with team captain Pavel Pardo.
Until Osorno's move, Mexico had tried and failed to find the net while dominating regulation time against the under-23 team representing Brazil while playing before more than 70,000 roaring fans at Mexico City's high-altitude Azteca Stadium, one of the most home-friendly venues in international soccer.
Lavolpe paid tribute the fans after the game: "It's very important when the public supports a team."
Mexico had two close calls as time ran down. After 87 minutes, Osorno charged down the left side and passed in to Juan Pablo Rodriguez, who found Jare Borgetti about five meters from the goal. But Borghetti fell as he began to take a shot.
As regulation time was running out, Luis Perez bobbled a pass from Octavio Valdez at nearly the same point.
Mexico controlled the first half with a fluid, aggressive, midfielders-forward attack and deft passing that found holes -- but no goals -- in the Brazilian defense.
Mexico repeatedly seemed to be on the verge of scoring.
Mexico had three shots from inside the penalty box within a few seconds of the 11th minute -- two by Borgetti and one by Valdez as the ball rebounded off, or was bobbled by Brazilian defenders.
In the 21st minute, Jesus Arellano fired a 15-meter shot from the right that bounced off the corner of the goal.
Then, a shot by Rafael Garcia off a pass from Valdez was blocked at the goal mouth by the foot of Brazilian defender Alex.
Brazil depended heavily on the ballhandling skills of Kaka, who several times left defenders wrong-footed as he crossed in front of the Mexican net, but he rarely got off a strong shot.
In the second half, both sides seemed more cautious on attack and more pressing on defense, with more of the play taking place in midfield, until Mexico's late flurry of unsuccessful attacks.
Brazil was invited to the Gold Cup, the championship of the North and Central America and Caribbean region. It also lost 1-0 to Mexico in the same stadium on July 13.