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Watch: USMNT star Reyna's skill vs Mexico which gave Berhalter visions of Maradona

04:58 GMT 25/03/2022
Gio Reyna United States Mexico 2022
The young American dazzled with a mazy run through the El Tri midfield

Gregg Berhalter said he saw shades of Diego Maradona's famous run at the 1986 World Cup on Thursday night as Gio Reyna dazzled during a magical sequence at the Azteca.

Reyna came on as a second-half substitute in the USMNT's 0-0 draw with Mexico, nearly helping the U.S. seal the win if not for a 72nd-minute miss from Jordan Pefok.

Moments later, Reyna went on a mazy run through several Mexico defenders, with his coach pointing out that the forward drive looked very familiar to one of the most famous in the game's history.

What did Reyna do?

After receiving the ball in his own half, Reyna darted past several Mexico defenders as he broke towards goal.

Every time the sequence seemingly neared its conclusion, Reyna would ease past yet another defender before, ultimately, being tackled after leaving several El Tri stars in his wake.

What was said?

"It's exciting," Berhalter said after the match. "When you looked at our young group of players, it's an exciting group of players and thinking about the prospect of these guys getting even better is really exciting.

"Mexico was the host of the 86 World Cup, where Maradona scored his wonderful goal and I had visions of that while Gio was dribbling.

"Unfortunately, he didn't finish it off or get an opportunity to finish off but again, I think he made a solid impact and he showed what type of playmaking and attacking quality he has."

Maradona's famous goal

The goal Berhalter alluded was, of course, Maradona's famous finish against England in 1986, a goal recognized as one of the most magical moments in the sport's history.

Coming shortly after the infamous Hand of God goal, Maradona darted past numerous England defenders to score what is known as the Goal of the Century, solidifying the Argentine's place in the game's lore.

Reyna's return

Thursday's match was Reyna's first since suffering an injury in September, with that injury keeping him out for nearly the entirety of World Cup qualifying.

After suffering a setback in February, Reyna only recently returned for Borussia Dortmund, playing 90 minutes last Sunday before joining the USMNT.

He came off the bench on Thursday, replacing Tim Weah in the second half.

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