At the Gold Cup final in pictures

A sold-out Soldier Field in Chicago saw Mexico take on the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final. 60,000 showed up, with perhaps 50,000 of them coming from Chicago’s million-strong Hispanic population.

The long view

A few fans professed love for both their native and adopted countries, and they received plenty of curious looks and banter for doing so.

A fan of both teams

Others were more partisan, such as Sam’s Army and the Mexico fans in green surrounding them.

Sam's Army

There was plenty of back-and-forth banter, but for the most part, it stayed light-hearted.

Fans debate

Mexico’s fans were louder and more boisterous in the first half, as they went in 1-0 up, and their vast numbers – perhaps a 10-1 ratio – made it feel like a game south of the Rio Grande.

Mexican fans

Donovan’s penalty in the second half tied things up, and chants of U-S-A began to resonate around the stadium. It seemed, suddenly, like a large proportion of the crowd was now cheering for the U.S.

Donovan scores from the spot

And Sam’s Army had the last laugh. After a Donovan penalty tied it, the U.S. took the lead with just fifteen minutes to go, sending their diehards home happy with a 2-1 win.

Sam's Army

The day was not all peace and light. After the game, troubled flared in a few spots.

A fight outside after the game

Overall, though, it was a fantastic game, the crowd was lively, and soccer in America felt like a bigtime sport. That may have been a mirage just for one warm summer’s day, but it felt good anyway.

And on a non-crowd related note: all 60,000 were equally shocked when Beasley managed to miss from this Donovan breakaway.

Donovan's breakaway before Beasley's miss

Still, U.S. fans can laugh about it now, and Mexico’s supporters will wonder if they’ll ever break the hex their neighbour to the north hold over them.

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