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El Tri escapes Canada 2-1 in extra time after fan stoppage for slur

A controversial ending gives Mexico the path back to defend the Concacaf Gold Cup.

Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera reacts during the second half against El Salvador during CONCACAF Gold Cup Soccer group stage play at Cotton Bowl. Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Two eternal rivals will met yet again in the Gold Cup Final, as Mexico edged an upstart Canada 2-1 on Thursday night in Houston, Texas at NRG Stadium for the right to face the United States in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Mexico jumped out to an early lead with a Orbelí­n Pineda penalty in the 2nd added minute of the first half.

But the Great White North struck back through Tajon Buchanan in the 57th minute on this gorgeous counter with a far post lawn mower.

It looked like one of the great moments in Canadian soccer history when Maxime Crepeau stuffed this penalty that would have sent Mexico ahead in the 66th minute.

But after a stoppage by the referee to warn Mexico doing their infamous homophobic chant yet again, El Tri was able to gather themselves. Despite seven minutes being added on the stoppage time board, in the 99th minute Hector Herrera finished the dreams of an improving Canadian side.

The win sets up the seventh time the USMNT will face El Tri in the Gold Cup Final, with Mexico leading 5-1 in those matchups. These two teams last met in the Final of the Concacaf Nations League, and the USA took the trophy with a 3-2 win after extra time.

But we’ll see vastly different rosters for this event, with no likely starters for the United States in World Cup Qualifying starting on Sunday. Mexico should be a strong favorite to repeat as champions of the confederation.