Aug. 6, 1999
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Led by two goals and an assist from Alvaro Ortiz, Mexico advanced into the finals of the Pan Am Games with an impressive 4-0 win against the United States tonight in the semifinals at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex.
The loss sends the Americans into the bronze medal match, where they will play host Canada on Friday at 7:00 p.m. at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex. A win would give the United States just its third Pan Am soccer medal.
"Friday we are going to try and go out there and win," said U.S. coach Clive Charles. "It's going to be very tough for us because Canada has a little bit more experience here than we have. It's another day, it's another game, it's another opportunity for them to impress.
The U.S. nearly went ahead in the sixth minute when a Ryan Futagaki corner kick bounced dangerously in the penalty area but no U.S. player was able to reach it. Mexico controlled the ensuing clearance and two minutes later the Mexicans went ahead through Ortiz.
U.S. goalkeeper Adin Brown dove to save Mexico's first shot of the game, a driven ball from ten yards out. The rebound ended up at Ortiz's foot and he slotted his seven-yard shot by the recovering Brown.
Mexico added a second goal in the 19th minute, again through the foot of Ortiz. Emilio Mora set up the goal, beating U.S. defenders Steve Shak and Dan Califf before turning into the penaly box and laying the ball off to his right to a charging Ortiz. Ortiz's one-timed shot beat Brown to the goalkeeper's left post.
The United States' best chance of the first half came in the 24th minute when Dan Califf rose to meet a Ryan Futagaki cross, but Califf's header was directly at Mexican goalkeeper Christian Martinez. Martinez made five saves in the game.
Ortiz turned provider for Mora on Mexico's third goal in the 44th minute and Mexico's star striker Jose Mendoza scored his tournament-leading sixth goal in the 85th minute. Mexico proved they are worthy of the tournament's top seed, outshooting the U.S. 15-5. If not for an eight-save performance from Brown, the final scoreline could have been much worse to the Americans.
With the result the Mexicans advances to the finals for the third consecutive year, where they will face Honduras. Mexico has taken home the silver medal in each of the last two Pan American Games, including a 2-1 overtime loss in the 1991 final in Havana.
U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley sat out the game, serving a one-game suspension resulting from a red card Beasley received in the 93rd minute of the USA's 0-0 draw with Uruguay on July 31.