Sporting Kansas City’s Alan Pulido helps Mexico advance to Nations League final vs USMNT

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Mexico’s Alan Pulido (11) scores on a penalty kick against Costa Rica’s Leonel Moreira (23) during the second half of a CONCACAF Nations League soccer semifinal Thursday, June 3, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

DENVER — After 90 minutes of play, Mexico and Costa Rica squared off in a penalty shootout for the last spot in the Nations League final against the United States.

Sporting Kansas City forward Alan Pulido made his 15th appearance for “El Tri” when he was subbed on in the 58th minute of the contest.

Although Pulido and the rest of the Mexican national team were unable to score in regulation, head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino lined SKC’s leading goal-scorer up in the fourth spot in the penalty shootout.

Pulido shot high and up the middle to beat Costa Rican goalkeeper Leonel Moreira and give “El Tri” the lead, 3-2.

Mexico missed their first penalty kick, but made five straight to secure the win after FC Cincinnati’s Allan Cruz’s shot was blocked by goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

“El Tri” and Pulido will now face the United State men’s national team who defeated Honduras in their semi-final with a goal in the 89th minute from Theoson Siebatcheu.

The championship match will be the latest chapter in the storied rivalry between the CONCACAF powerhouses. The last time they met was in September, 2019.

Empower Field a Mile High will host the highly-anticipated match up on Sunday, June 6 at 8 p.m. CT.

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