New generation offer Mexico hope

Mexico confirmed their status as the top team in North and Central America with their sparkling 4-2 comeback win over the United States in an thrilling Gold Cup final Saturday that promised an exciting future for 'El Tri'.

A young generation of talented players has offered the prospect of taking Mexico to another level as they seek a way to make a real impact at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil - and they might just be on the way to delivering.

Several of this team have struggled with their European clubs but when they pull on the green shirt their quality shines as the U.S. discovered to their cost as they watched a two goal lead evaporate.

Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez has been the idol for the huge Mexican support in the United States but the man-of-the-match Saturday was Giovani dos Santos, who crowned an effervescent display with a goal of pure class - a perfect chip into the top corner, while dribbling away from goal.

"I was delighted with the goal, it really was a nice goal and I'm even happier that it helped the team win the championship," Dos Santos told reporters.

The 22-year-old has failed to make an impact with Tottenham Hotspur in England and has been loaned out to second tier Ipswich Town, Turkish club Galatasaray and Spain's Racing Santander.

But almost every time the son of a former Brazilian professional comes home to play for his country he shows why Barcelona saw enough promise in him to sign him up as an 11-year-old.


U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard, who endured a difficult night, was full of admiration for Dos Santos's skill and movement as he helped shred apart the U.S. defense.

"He does a great job. He pulls wide and isolates, then comes inside. It's hard to defend him and when you do he does his magic. They have dynamic players and they put us in a lot of situations we don't want to be in," he said.

Pablo Barrera, who crowned an excellent tournament with two goals in the final, is another who has struggled in England having made little impact for West Ham United as they were relegated last season.

Hernandez, who scored 20 goals in all competitions in his debut season in England is a different matter however.

"El Chicharito', who was the Gold Cup's top scorer with seven goals, didn't find the target in the final but offered some insight into what appears a refreshing team ethos for a side that has often been led by a dominant personality.

"Giovani and all the team really delivered. Sometimes people say that I am the idol or the hero but in this team there really aren't any heroes or rock stars, there are only 20 players who want to do their best," he said.

Mexico head coach Jose Manuel de la Torre has had a serious expression on his face throughout a tournament where Mexico had to deal with losing five of their squad after failing pre-competition doping tests.

"There is no better moment than victory - everything else is in the past. What happened helped us become stronger as a team, we had to focus and we faced up to the challenges.

"It's all about results but when you get a victory you have to enjoy it. This was a complicated tournament for us but we are enjoying the moment now," he said.