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U.S. collapse leads to Mexican win Americans give up four straight goals

Pablo Barrera scored two goals and Mexico rallied to beat the United States, 4-2, in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.

Andres Guardado and Giovani Dos Santos also scored for Mexico, which has won two consecutive Gold Cup titles and six overall. The victory puts El Tri in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, a preview of the 2014 World Cup.

Mexico's Javier Hernandez, who led this year's Gold Cup with seven goals, was the tournament's most valuable player. Hernandez scored 20 goals for Manchester United during England's recently completed Premier League season.

Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan scored to help the United States build a 2-0 lead. Donovan became the Gold Cup's all-time leading scorer with 13 goals.

Barrera put Mexico ahead to stay in the 50th minute, slipping a 10-yard shot underneath the right hand of diving goalkeeper Tim Howard and inside the left post.

The United States got off to a fast start but Mexico got back in the game with two goals during an impressive seven-minute stretch.

Barrera scored his first goal on a 17-yard shot inside the right post in the 29th minute, snapping Howard's Gold Cup shutout streak at 351 minutes.

Then in the 36th minute, Dos Santos' pass from the right side of the penalty area deflected off defender Eric Lichaj and toward Howard. Guardado pounced on the ball and poked it in from 5 yards, tying it at 2.

Guardado played on a slightly sprained left ankle. He was injured during Mexico's 2-0 semifinal victory over Honduras on Wednesday.

Dos Santos ended the scoring in the 76th minute by lofting a 17-yard shot that Lichaj failed to head away from an open net at the left post.

The announced attendance of 93,420 was the largest for a Gold Cup game in the United States, but the crowd was decidedly in Mexico's corner.


Women's World Cup opens

FRANKFURT, Germany -- By the time Germany plays the official opener of the Women's World Cup today (11:45 a.m., ESPN, Ch. 5), France and Nigeria will have already begun the three-week tournament (8:45 a.m., ESPN2).

As host, Germany has the honor of opening the 16-team event, facing Canada at Berlin's Olympic Stadium after the opening ceremony. But three hours before that, France plays Nigeria at Sinsheim in the first game on the schedule.

Germany, the two-time defending champion, is looking to become the first nation to win three World Cup titles.

"It's the best team Germany has ever had and I believe they can win the title," said Steffi Jones, president of the organizing committee and a former Germany star.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, German President Christian Wulff and FIFA President Sepp Blatter are to be among the capacity crowd of 73,680 at Olympic Stadium, which hosted the final of the 2006 men's World Cup.

"If we play well, it's a lot cooler when more than 70,000 are celebrating and making the wave than to play before 150," Germany captain Birgit Prinz said.

German women's league games often draw no more than a couple of hundred fans, even though it boasts some of the top players in the world, not only Germans.

The German organizers have made a big effort to promote the tournament that runs until July 17 and say that 80 percent of the 90,000 tickets have now been sold.

Berlin has the biggest stadium, but it will host only the opener, with the tournament spread over nine venues across Germany. Frankfurt, which will host the final, is the only other stadium that was used for the 2006 tournament. Most other arenas seat between 20,000 and 30,000.

If she scores, Prinz will become the first woman to have to scored at least one goal in five World Cups.

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