Gimenez scores late goal as Mexico beats Panama to win Gold Cup
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Santiago Gimenez scored after an electrifying sprint in the 88th minute, and Mexico won the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the record ninth time with a 1-0 victory over Panama on Sunday night.
After Edson Alvarez slid to block Ivan Anderson's cross in the Mexico penalty area, Orbelin Pineda dribbled away and made a tremendous pass to Gimenez in the center circle. The 22-year-old Feyenoord forward dribbled past Harold Cummings and then outraced Cummings and Fidel Escobar into the penalty area, where he scuffed a bouncing left-foot shot over goalkeeper Orlando Mosquera for his fourth goal in 18 international appearances.
The goal by the Argentina-born Gimenez set off a frenzied celebration at SoFi Stadium, which was packed with fans celebrating Mexico's dramatic revival in this biennial CONCACAF tournament. Several months after Mexico crashed out of the World Cup with its worst performance in nearly half a century, El Tri rebounded with an excellent tournament under interim manager Jaime Lozano, who took over the beleaguered program only a month ago.
Mexico, which allowed just two goals in its matches, has won this tournament more than all other nations combined. The U.S. has seven Gold Cup titles and Canada one.
Gimenez's late goal ended an unlikely Gold Cup run by Panama, which upset the U.S. in the semifinals to earn its third appearance in the final. Los Canaleros couldn't get several solid scoring chances past veteran Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.
Lozano, who coached Mexico's Olympic team to a bronze medal in Tokyo two years ago, was hired to lead the Gold Cup campaign by Juan Carlos Rodriguez, who took over as Mexican Football Federation president only a month earlier.
While the Gold Cup is notorious for featuring half-strength national teams, Mexico began the final with eight starters who also started at the World Cup.
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