US soccer player injured by projectile during celebration in 3-2 victory over Mexico

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Superstar Christian Pulisic successfully converted a penalty kick in the second half of extra time to lift the United States men’s national team to a 3-2 victory over Mexico in the first CONCACAF Nations League final on Sunday night.

After Pulisic scored the eventual game-winning goal, the match was stopped for about three minutes during the second-half stoppage time because of discriminatory fan chants at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, and U.S. attacker Gio Reyna was drilled in the face with an object thrown from a fan. He was down on the field for several minutes.

As soon as Pulisic nailed the penalty kick, the team ran to one of the corner flags to celebrate, and that’s when fans decided to launch beer and other drink containers onto the field. One of the containers hit Reyna, and U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter shared his thoughts on the incident following the game.

“Total lack of respect for what’s happening on the field and all effort that both teams are putting into the game,” Berhalter said. “I think he’s going to be OK, but he did take something to the head, and it could have been a lot worse.”

U.S. backup goalkeeper Ethan Horvath made the game-winning save on Mexico star Andrés Guardado’s penalty kick in the 124th minute to seal the victory for the Americans.

Horvath, who a week earlier played his first international match since March 2019, entered in the 69th minute, seven minutes after starting U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen fell to the ground, clutching his left knee, after coming off his line in what seemed to be a routine manner to grab a through pass from Mexico’s attack.

The U.S. survived an extended 11 minutes of stoppage time following the second extra period and beat Mexico in a competitive match for the first time since 2013 following a stretch of three losses and a draw, gaining confidence ahead of the start of World Cup qualifying in September.

“We’re a young side and we need to learn how to win,” Berhalter said. “It’s also about the fight and spirit. .. They really showed the heart of champions.”

“This is the perfect way to end the year,” Pulisic added after the match.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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