Matthew Hoppe reaches the Gold Cup final
Matthew Hoppe and the US men’s national team booked their place in the Gold Cup final during the early hours of Friday morning. 20,500 people watched on at the Q2 stadium in Austin, Texas as the Schalke man and his international teammates beat next year’s World Cup hosts Qatar 1-0 in the semi-final.
Substitute Gyasi Zardes’s goal in the 86th minute was the difference between the two sides. Hoppe was no longer on the pitch at this point. The Schalke forward was named in the starting XI and created danger for the opposition on several occasions before being taken off in the 81st minute. Just ten minutes in, Hoppe’s effort from 18 yards had to be parried away by Meshaal Barsham in the Qatar goal. After 52 minutes, a clever pass from Hoppe almost allowed Daryl Dike to finish from close range.
Qatar were not without chances of their own either, the best of which fell to Hassan Al-Haidous from the penalty spot, which he blazed over the crossbar (61’). Despite further chances for the 2022 World Cup host nation, there was no way past US shot stopper Matt Turner.
Repeat of the last final
In the parallel semi-final, Mexico edged past Canada with a goal from Hector Herrera in the ninth minute of regulation stoppage time, meaning there will be a repeat of the 2019 final in Nevada on Sunday night/Monday morning. Last time, Mexico lifted the trophy after a 1-0 win.
A win for the USA in three days’ time would mean a seventh championship title in North and Central America and the Caribbean. Mexico are fighting for their twelfth Gold Cup.