2023 GOLD CUP
Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa breaks record in the 2023 Gold Cup final win over Panama
El Tri have now won the Gold Cup on no fewer than nine occasions following their triumph in California on Sunday.
Mexico are pretty good in the Gold Cup, it’s safe to say. They left it late against Panama at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on Sunday, but Santi Giménez’s goal with three minutes left secured the title for the ninth time since the tournament was created in 1991.
El Tri have now won more than half of the 17 editions that have been played, and two more than eternal rivals the United States, who they have regained the trophy from two years after losing to the Stars and Stripes in the 2021 final.
That extra-time loss at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise is one of only two occasions on which Mexico have reached the Gold Cup final and not ended up victorious. In 2007, they also lost out to the USMNT, who they have themselves defeated in no fewer than five finals. El Tri have also beaten Brazil twice, Jamaica and now Panama.
‘Memo’'s Gold Cup record
Five of their nine victories in the competition have come since 2009, by which time goalkeeper - and now captain - Guillermo Ochoa was already a mainstay in the team. The Salernitana shot-stopper has featured in every one of those Gold Cup wins (2009, 2011, 2017, 2019, 2023), making him the most decorated player in the history of the tournament, ahead of compatriot Andrés Guardado, who retired from international duty earlier this year having lifted the trophy on four occasions.
As well as setting this new milestone, Ochoa was also won the 2023 Golden Glove after conceding only two goals, one in the victory over Haiti and another in the group-stage defeat to Qatar, when Mexico’s qualification for the knockout stages had already been secured.
Ochoa: “A Mexican having the record is the important thing”
Speaking after the win over Panama, Ochoa was keen to stress that his achievement meant more to him on a collective level rather than a personal one.
“It’s an honour to have this record. But the most important thing is that it’s a Mexican who has it. It’s amazing.
“Every Gold Cup has been different and special. I’m really happy to have been able to win this title for my country.
“Perseverance and determination are fundamental in soccer and, in any job, if you’re going to achieve what you want to achieve. It’s not easy. There are really good moments but there are also bad moments when you need to keep believing in yourself, in your ability and what you have to offer. That’s the only way you can do it”.