The Mexico Women’s National Team picked up a monumental win over the USWNT to round out the group stage in the 2024 W Gold Cup. The Americans had already clinched a spot in the knockout stage, which means it did not have much to play for. However, a dominant performance ensured La Tri finished as group winners. More significantly, this was Mexico’s second time defeating the United States Women’s National Team. This was the 43rd time the USWNT has played Mexico. The Americans lead the series with 40 wins and a draw, but this is a turning point for Mexican women’s soccer.

Moreover, this is not a result where the USWNT can cast the 2-0 loss to the side. Interim head coach Twila Kilgore fielded a strong side full of players with ample experience in tournament play. However, it was Mexico that dominated and led most of the chances. Granted, the first half saw Mexico welcome the USWNT’s possession-based approach. A stout defense prevented the Americans from any strong chances. Right-back Emily Fox forced a save out of Esthefanny Barreras just after the half-hour mark, but that was as close as the United States came.

A historic result for Mexico women

Not long after, Mexico opened the scoring via Jacqueline Ovalle. Poor defending from the USWNT allowed Ovalle to win the ball in the final third. Faced one-on-one against USWNT goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, Ovalle pulled the ball back to her left foot and chipped a sumptuous ball into the back of Naeher’s net. This was the first time Mexico held a lead against the United States since the last time, and the only time, it defeated the Americans. That was in November 2010 during Women’s World Cup qualifying.

A raucous crowd that largely supported Mexico was treated to a perfect ending in stoppage time of the second half. The USWNT was exposed at the back as it pushed for an equalizer. Mayra Pelayo was born in California, played for the Florida Gators in college and was in the USWNT youth system. She delivered the final blow with a contender for goal of the tournament. A curled effort from 25 yards away beat Naeher to wrap up a massive result for La Tri.

It is one thing to end Mexico’s 13-year, 16-game losing streak against the USWNT. This is the first time the United States women’s side has lost to a CONCACAF opponent on US soil in 24 years. Also, it is the USWNT’s first time losing a game in California.

Gold Cup result over USWNT is stepping stone for Mexico

The crowd, which favored Mexico in Carson, CA, saw what could be a turning point for Mexico in the women’s game. Mexico’s men’s team has been one of the most consistent teams in the history of the men’s World Cup, having reached the knockout stage eight tournaments in a row before the 2022 edition. Yet, the women’s team has never advanced beyond the group stage in three previous trips to the tournament. Also, Mexico failed to qualify for the 2019 and 2023 Women’s World Cups.

Now, the Mexico Women’s National team has the chance to use this win over the USWNT to develop further. The Mexico squad at this tournament has nine players who are 25 or younger. They are rapidly gaining caps, as Ovalle is already approaching 50 appearances with La Tri.

In the immediate picture, the win over the United States will put Mexico in a position to face an easier opponent in the quarterfinals of the W Gold Cup. It could play one of the third-place finishers in the group stage, which would make it possible to win the side’s first competitive trophy at a major level.