With a late Gold Cup-winning goal to help El Tri defeat Panama on Sunday, Santiago Gimenez cemented his position in Mexican mythology.
Gimenez wins it late, giving El Tri Mexico its 12th tournament victory. After defeating the USMNT in the semifinals, Panama loses
Gimenez’s goal, which won the trophy, came just seconds after he entered the game, capping up a close, back-and-forth contest. Henry Martin started the game instead of the striker, who was just brought on in the 85th minute.
Gimenez became Mexico’s hero three minutes later when he sped past the Panama defence and put the ball in the back of the net to secure the Gold Cup.
Is there any scepticism? Gimenez has been a player with tremendous potential, but up until Sunday night, he hadn’t truly had the opportunity to demonstrate it in this competition. The Feyenoord player scored the game-winning goal in a 3-1 victory over Haiti, his only goal in the opening five games, but it was enough to help his nation win another Gold Cup.
The referee properly overturned Harold Cummings’ second yellow card in the second half, but it was a close call. From there, though, the Panamanian defender’s evening took a turn for the worse after Gimenez embarrassed him with the game-winning goal.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MEXICO AND PANAMA?
With the start of the 2023–34 Nations League, which will also act as qualification for the 2024 Copa America, both teams will resume CONCACAF play in the autumn.
Adalberto Carrasquilla and Ismael Daz’s combined play in the second minute gave Panama a strong start and some early time in the attacking third, but by halfway through the first half, the tide had turned. When Luis Romo and Jorge Sánchez took consecutive close-range shots in the 43rd minute, Mexico had possibly its greatest scoring opportunity of the game, but Panama goalkeeper Orlando Mosquera made crucial stops to preserve the score tied at halftime.
Mexican players had some of their finest opportunities on either side of a puzzling decision made by referee Hector Martinez in the 63rd minute, when he gave Panama’s Harold Cummings a second yellow card for what appeared to be a foul on Orbeln Pineda. A minute or so later, Martinez changed the penalty, and play continued.
Mexico gets a break after winning the Gold Cup after a trying summer. After just seven games in charge, the club fired head coach Diego Cocca after losing to the U.S. men’s national team 3-0 in the Nations League semifinals. The continental championship coaching position was promptly filled by Jaime Lozano on an interim basis, and he can now view the undertaking as a success.