After a year of instability and disappointing results Mexico recorded a resounding 5-0 win over arch-rivals USA in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, sparking ecstatic and long-awaited celebrations back home.
In the space of 90 minutes Javier Aguirre's side regained the admiration of their fans and the ever-demanding Mexican press, who lavished praise on the team for the emphatic manner in which they ended a run of ten years without a win over their neighbours on US soil.
"El Tri are still the kings" headlined the website Mediotiempo.com, an indication of the general euphoria that seized the nation. "Giants or not, Mexico are the best team in the CONCACAF Zone," continued the report. "And that's not just because of the result. No other country in the region has won five Gold Cups, which is one more than the Stars and Stripes."
El Universal was just as triumphant in its reaction. "A golden dream" ran the headline of an article that greeted the end of Mexico's barren run north of the border with relief. "Javier Aguirre's boys have created a new era by showing that they can beat a team that has been a thorn in the side of El Tricolor. The trophy held aloft by the captain Gerardo Torrado was a reward for the 35 days they spent together and released the tension that has built up over a whole decade."
The newspaper singled out the performances of Giovani dos Santos, who put a difficult season with Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur behind him to collect the tournament MVP award. "He should be grateful to the Gold Cup and the national side should be grateful to a kid who salved his wounds by producing his very best football."
Giants or not, Mexico are the best team in the CONCACAF Zone.
The newspaper Milenio led with the headline "Dripping with gold", while Excélsior featured Mexico President Felipe Calderon's message of congratulations for the team in its report along with coach Aguirre's assessment that victory came about "because of the change in attitude that the Mexico team needed to make".
Fans across the country hit the streets to celebrate the historic win. Within two hours of the final whistle, thousands of green-shirted supporters had gathered around the statue of the Angel de la Independencia in Mexico City, the traditional focal point for major celebrations in the country.
The huge throng chanted "Sí se pudo, sí se pudo" (We did it, we did it) and "Nos vemos en el Azteca" (See you at the Azteca), in reference to the vital 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifying match between the two countries on 12 August, a game that will have a major bearing on Mexico's hopes of reaching the finals.
When the newly crowned champions finally returned to the capital at six o'clock the following morning, they were met by hundreds of fans. Making light of the ungodly hour they welcomed the team with songs and banners, proof if it were needed that reconciliation between El Tricolor and their supporters was finally complete.