Sporting Kansas City striker Alan Pulido and the Mexico Men's National Team cruised to the semifinals of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup with a commanding 3-0 win over Honduras on Saturday night at an electric, sold-out State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Mexico struck three times in the space of 12 explosive minutes as red-hot striker Rogelio Funes Mori, LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos and Orbelin Pineda all found the back of the net before halftime to put the result out of reach. Pulido then entered as an 85th-minute substitute for Funes Mori to collect his 19th career senior cap and make his third appearance of the competition.
Boasting seven straight clean sheets since falling 3-2 to the United States in the Concacaf Nations League Final last month, El Tri will now face the winner of tonight's quarterfinal clash between Canada and Costa Rica on Thursday. The semifinal encounter is slated for 9 p.m. CT at NRG Stadium in Houston, airing live in English on FS1 and the FOX Sports app and in Spanish on Univision, TUDN and the TUDN app.
Held every two years, the Gold Cup is the regional championship for Concacaf and just like in the European Championships and Copa America, lifting the trophy brings prestige and regional supremacy. Over the course of 15 previous Gold Cup tournaments, Mexico has lifted the trophy a record eight times (1993, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2019), just ahead of the United States' six (1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2017). Canada is the only other tournament champion, coming away with the title in 2000.
Following the conclusion of Mexico's run in the tournament, Pulido will return to Sporting Kansas City for a busy final three months of the MLS regular season and the start of the club's 2021 Leagues Cup campaign, which will begin Aug. 10 with a highly anticipated home match against LIGA MX powerhouse Club Leon at Children's Mercy Park.