In the 62nd minute, Andrew Carleton found the breakthrough goal for the USA in a back-and-forth CONCACAF Men's U-17 Championship final against Mexico that had seen both sides go close without success. But a sliced clearance by El Tri 'keeper Cesar Lopez and pressure on Mexico captain Luis Olivas from Tim Weah saw the ball land at Carleton's feet at the edge of the box - and he produced an instinctive shot-on-the-turn that put the USA ahead.
The Americans survived a few scares - 'keeper Justin Garces was excellent throughout the game - but seemed the likelier winner as the game drew near its end. But the USA would regret not having taken one of the late chances to double the lead: in injury-time, Mexico finally found the net.
Daniel Lopez had to work hard to shake off Josh Sargent's diligent defending, but found space for a cross and Carlos Robles nodded it in.
The 1-1 tie after 90 minutes sent the match to penalties. The teams were level after three kicks from the spot, but Akil Watts missed the USA's fourth and Mexico was a perfect five from five.
El Tri lifted its third consecutive CONCACAF Men's U-17 trophy, bouncing back well from defeat by the USA in the group stage to claim revenge in the match that mattered most in the tournament.
Both Mexico and the US have qualified for the 2017 U-17 World Cup, along with Costa Rica and Honduras. That tournament will be held in India in October - which is a long way off in the context of the young careers of U-17 players. There could be a few changes to the squads that competed in this CONCACAF Championship for the World Cup.
Still, New York Red Bulls Academy player Chris Gloster held down his spot as the USA U-17s preferred starting left-back and will be expected to feature for his team in India assuming his form and fitness holds up. Before then, he might see a little time with NYRB II - the Red Bulls reserve team - in USL.
Former RBNY Academy player Tim Weah consistently provided a spark and attacking momentum off the bench for the USA. Another five months in the Paris Saint-Germain youth set-up could see him emerge as a starter for the young Americans at the World Cup.
But for now this USA U-17s squad must head home and work towards winning selection to the World Cup roster. They achieved the USA's first win over Mexico in a CONCACAF U-17 Championship in the group stage of this tournament, but could quite hold El Tri off long enough to repeat the trick and win the regional title. They might yet get a third shot at Mexico in India this October.