Feyenoord striker Santiago Giménez is Mexico’s hero: ‘God’s timing is right, that’s why this goal happened’ |  Foreign football

Feyenoord striker Santiago Giménez is Mexico’s hero: ‘God’s timing is right, that’s why this goal happened’ | Foreign football

Encounter videoFeyenoord player Santiago Giménez gave Mexico its ninth gold trophy in Los Angeles, the championship for North and Central America and the Caribbean. In the final against Panama, he scored the decisive goal as a substitute just before the end: 1-0.

Santiago Gimenez, the most important striker in his championship year at Feyenoord, has yet to develop into an undisputed permanent force in the national team. Five minutes before the end, coach Jaime Lozano allowed him to enter the field with the score 0-0. But within two minutes he suddenly appeared over the halfway line, with only one opponent with him.

And he’s gone. Undeterred, he sped towards the Panamanian goal, dribbled a bit, turned slightly and tapped the ball behind goalkeeper Orlando Mosquera, putting two Panamanian defenders on his neck.


It was the final blow to a brave Panama, the biggest surprise of the tournament. After good wins against Qatar and penalties, the team reached the final with a semi-final against home country USA. The small soccer nation from Central America reached the final for the third time. This happened earlier in 2005 and 2013. Both finals were lost to the USA.

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Mexico, the reigning Gold Cup champions, showed their prowess as expected. With Ajax players Edson Alvarez and Jorge Sanchez in the starting line-up, Mexico looked set to take the lead after half an hour, but Henry Martin’s goal was ruled out for offside.

After the break, the game was more even and not only did Panama hold its own, but it occasionally threatened the goal of experienced Mexico goalkeeper and captain Guillermo Ochoa. He was not fazed, however, and a late goal from Gimenez eventually secured the gold trophy.

Gimenez said shortly after scoring his winning goal in the final in front of 72,963 spectators at Sophie Stadium in Inglewood, California. “It’s indescribable,” Gimenez said. “There’s only love and passion for those who are always there. First is God, my family and the fans. There were four people supporting him today at the 75,000 International Cup.

,, When I returned from release, I knew that the guard was already tired. Then had to get past him at pace and in the end I didn’t even hit the ball well, but luckily it was in. This match you can see that the Mexican team has become a unit again and it was an impressive experience,” said Gimenez, who was not invited to the World Cup in Qatar at the end of last year. After 23 goals in 45 matches in his first season at Feyenoord, interim national coach Jaime Lozano could not ignore the 22-year-old striker.


Ajax's Edson Alvarez (left) and Feyenoord's Santiago Gimenez celebrate Mexico's victory in the Gold Cup final against Panama shortly after Gimenez's winning goal.
Ajax’s Edson Alvarez (left) and Feyenoord’s Santiago Gimenez celebrate Mexico’s victory in the Gold Cup final against Panama shortly after Gimenez’s winning goal. © AB

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