HomeFootball NewsMexico Clinches Ninth CONCACAF Gold Cup Title with Late Giménez Goal against...

Mexico Clinches Ninth CONCACAF Gold Cup Title with Late Giménez Goal against Panama

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Mexico emerged victorious in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final, securing their record ninth championship title with a thrilling 1-0 triumph over Panama on Sunday night. Santiago Giménez became the hero of the match, scoring a decisive goal in the 88th minute.

The breakthrough came after Edson Álvarez made a crucial block in Mexico’s penalty area, denying Iván Anderson’s cross. Orbelín Pineda swiftly dribbled the ball away and delivered a perfect pass to the center circle. Santiago Giménez, the 22-year-old Feyenoord forward, showcased his electrifying speed as he evaded the challenges from Harold Cummings and Fidel Escobar, ultimately slotting a cleverly placed shot into the net. This marked Giménez’s fourth goal in 18 international appearances.

Giménez’s goal ignited a euphoric celebration at the sold-out SoFi Stadium, where passionate fans reveled in Mexico’s resurgent performance throughout this highly anticipated CONCACAF tournament.

Reflecting on the atmosphere, interim coach Jaime Lozano expressed his elation, stating, “Today, the atmosphere was like a World Cup, it wasn’t like a Gold Cup. The truth is that it fills me with joy, with excitement.”

Although Mexico had a goal disallowed for offside following a VAR review in the 33rd minute, courtesy of Henry Martin, and was denied by Panama keeper Orlando Mosquera just before halftime, their perseverance paid off in the closing moments.

Panama’s best chance to equalize arrived in the 87th minute with Edgar Barcenas’ long-range effort, which sailed wide of the goal. Minutes later, Giménez’s heroics sealed the victory for Mexico.

Following Mexico’s disappointing World Cup performance several months ago, which marked their worst showing in nearly 50 years, the team experienced a remarkable resurgence under interim manager Lozano, who took charge of the struggling program just a month ago.

Regarding his future with Mexico, Lozano expressed his availability and stated, “I signed a contract for the Gold Cup, I believe that starting now I’m free [to sign with anyone]. I don’t know if it’s in a few weeks or months, but a decision will need to be made, and from my part, whenever I can help the national team, I’m available.”

Mexico’s exceptional defensive record, conceding only two goals throughout the tournament, further solidified their dominance. With nine Gold Cup titles, Mexico has won the competition more times than all other nations combined. The United States boasts seven titles, while Canada has clinched one. Panama, despite their valiant efforts, fell short in their quest for a first-ever Gold Cup victory.

Giménez’s late heroics brought an unexpected end to Panama’s impressive Gold Cup campaign. The underdogs had stunned the U.S. in the semifinals, earning their third appearance in the tournament’s final. However, they struggled to convert several promising scoring opportunities past the veteran Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

Lozano, who previously led Mexico’s Olympic team to a bronze medal in Tokyo, was appointed to guide the Gold Cup campaign by Juan Carlos Rodríguez, who assumed the role of Mexican Football Federation president just a month earlier.

Despite the Gold Cup’s reputation for featuring weakened national teams, Mexico fielded a lineup with eight starters who had also featured in the World Cup. This continuity was evident as Mexico unleashed 14 shots in the first half before finally finding the back of the net to secure the coveted victory.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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