Mexico vs. Panama: A Rivalry on the Football Pitch

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Football, known as “football” in Mexico and “football” in Panama, is more than just a sport in these two nations; it’s a passion that unites people from all walks of life. The rivalry between Mexico vs Panama on the football pitch is a captivating tale of competition, pride, and a shared love for the beautiful game. In this article, we’ll delve into the history of this rivalry, its significance, and some memorable moments that have defined the clashes between these two footballing powerhouses.

The History of the Rivalry

The rivalry between Mexico and Panama in football can be traced back to the early 20th century when both nations were emerging as footballing forces in the CONCACAF region. Mexico, with its rich footballing tradition, had already established itself as a formidable team, while Panama was steadily making progress.

One of the earliest significant encounters between these two teams was in the 1938 Central American and Caribbean Games, where Mexico emerged victorious. This victory marked the beginning of a rivalry that would intensify over the years, as both nations aimed to assert their dominance in the region.

Significance of the Rivalry

The Mexico vs. Panama rivalry is not just about football; it’s about national pride and the desire to be the best in CONCACAF. These matches often carry a heavy weight of expectations from fans and serve as a measuring stick for the progress of both teams.

For Panama, defeating Mexico represents a chance to prove their footballing prowess on a regional stage. The victory in a match against Mexico is celebrated as a historic achievement, and it often ignites a wave of enthusiasm among Panamanian football enthusiasts.

Mexico, on the other hand, views these encounters as an opportunity to maintain their status as the powerhouse of CONCACAF. Matches against Panama are seen as a test of their supremacy in the region, and winning against their rivals serves as a source of national pride.

Memorable Moments

Over the years, Mexico and Panama have engaged in numerous memorable matches that have left a lasting impact on fans and players alike. Here are a few standout moments from this rivalry:

2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final: In a highly anticipated final, Mexico and Panama faced off in Chicago. The match went into extra time and saw controversial refereeing decisions that led to a heated confrontation between players. Mexico eventually won 2-1 after a dramatic late goal, leaving Panama feeling hard done by.

2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: In the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying for the 2018 tournament, Panama secured a historic 1-0 victory over Mexico. This win was Panama’s first ever against Mexico in a World Cup qualifier, and it was celebrated across the nation.

2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Semi-Final: Mexico and Panama met once again, this time in the semi-final of the Gold Cup. The match ended in a thrilling 3-0 victory for Mexico, showcasing their dominance in the competition and their ability to perform under pressure.

Beyond these specific moments, the Mexico vs. Panama rivalry has consistently delivered exciting and closely contested matches, making it a spectacle for football fans in the region and around the world.


The Mexico vs. Panama rivalry in football is a testament to the passion and intensity that the sport can evoke. It represents more than just a competition; it’s a reflection of the national pride and determination of both nations to excel in CONCACAF. While Mexico has historically held the upper hand, Panama continues to strive for greatness and moments of glory against their fierce rivals. As long as these two teams continue to meet on the pitch, the rivalry will remain a captivating chapter in the history of football in the Americas.

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