Christian Pulisic has proven to be a true “Captain America” after he led the United States of America to win the 2021 Concacaf Nations League eight days after lifting the UEFA Champions League trophy with Chelsea football club.
Recall that on May 29, 2021, Christian Pulisic was a substitute in the UEFA Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City in Porto, Portugal. Though the 22-year-old right-winger lost a golden goalscoring opportunity, Chelsea ended up winning the title 1-0, thanks to Kai Havertz’s stunner.
The win made Pulisic the first player from the United States of America to win the prestigious UEFA Champions League title.
Eight days after, he led the USA to play in the Concacaf Nations League final against a resilient Mexico side. The match dragged into extra time after a 2-2 draw in regular time. From the start of the game to finish, Mexico looked like a team to beat as they took the lead twice in the game.
However, the USA proved that they wanted the trophy more by coming from behind twice until the match ran into extra time.
In the dramatic encounter, the referee awarded the USA a penalty after a long consultation with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR). The tension got so high that Mexico head coach Gerardo Martino was sent off for confronting the referee.
After the VAR check, the USA were awarded a spot-kick which Christian Pulisic scored in the 114th minute of the game.
The match almost did not end that way as Mexico were also awarded a spot-kick. But USA’s substitute goalkeeper, Ethan Horvath was able to save the kick.
“It’s just the perfect way to end the year, honestly,” Christian Pulisic told CBS after the game. “I’m so proud. I’m so proud of this group, and we needed everyone today and it was a phenomenal performance.”
On his penalty kick, he said: “I said I’m gonna go out swinging and I’m just going put this top bins and I did.
While on Horvath’s penalty save, Pulisic added that: “I knew he was gonna save it. I was so confident in him. He does such a great job on penalties and I knew that, so I was confident.”
While the goalkeeper said: “I’m kind of speechless, to be honest. If you’re on the bench as a keeper you don’t expect to come in the game.
“It’s just a whole bunch of emotion. It’s a special moment for me in my hometown of Denver.”
The CONCACAF Nations League is a soccer competition for countries in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. It is played once in two years.