Santiago Jimenez, Feyenoord striker, Mexican champion: God’s timing is excellent, and that is why this goal fell |  sports

Santiago Jimenez, Feyenoord striker, Mexican champion: God’s timing is excellent, and that is why this goal fell | sports

Video metFeyenoord player Santiago Jimenez awarded Mexico his ninth Gold Cup in Los Angeles, the championship of countries from North and Central America and the Caribbean. In the final match against Panama, he scored the decisive goal as a substitute shortly before the end: 1-0.

He had just entered the field, Santiago Jimenez, a striker who was so important in Feyenoord’s championship year, but had not yet grown into an undisputed permanent force in the national team. Five minutes before the end, coach Jaime Lozano let him onto the field with a 0-0 draw, with the goal of approaching extra time against a hard-fought Panama. But less than two minutes later he suddenly appeared, just over the halfway line, with only one opponent with him.

and gone. He did not hesitate, sprinted towards the Panamanian goal, dribbled a little, turned a little and tapped the ball behind goalkeeper Orlando Mosquera with two Panamanian defenders on his neck.

The last blow was a brave Panama, the biggest upset of the tournament. The team reached the final, among other things, through impressive victories over Qatar and in the semi-finals against their home country, the United States, after a penalty shootout. It was the third time that the small soccer team from Central America reached the final. This happened previously in 2005 and 2013. Both finals were lost to the United States.

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Mexico, the record champions at the Gold Cup, had the initiative as might be expected. With Ajax players Edson Alvarez and Jorge Sanchez in the starting line-up, the Mexicans appeared to be taking the lead after half an hour, but Henry Martin’s goal was denied due to offside.

After the break, the game was more level-headed and not only did Panama keep a goal, but occasionally threatened the goal of veteran Mexican goalkeeper and captain Guillermo Ochoa. However, he was not surprised and finally managed to claim the Gold Cup thanks to Jimenez’s late goal.

“It is indescribable. All I feel is the love and affection for those who are always there,” said Jimenez shortly after his winning goal in the final in front of 72,963 spectators at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

, When I broke free and turned around, I knew that the defender was already tired. Then I had to pass him quickly and in the end I didn’t hit the ball perfectly, but luckily it was in it. “You could see in this tournament that the Mexican national team became a unit again, and it was great to experience it,” said Jimenez, who was not called up for 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 Jimenez celebrate Mexico's Gold Cup Final victory over Panama, after Jimenez's winning goal shortly before time.
Ajax’s Edson Alvarez (left) and Feyenoord’s Santiago Jimenez celebrate Mexico’s Gold Cup Final victory over Panama, after Jimenez’s winning goal shortly before time. ©AP

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