*Stuttering start *
Just one week after the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013, Mexico were already involved in Group A of a Gold Cup that put half a ticket to Russia 2017 at stake. The squad then coached by Jose Manuel de la Torre reached the quarter-finals thanks to group wins over Canada and Martinique, though only did so as section runners-up, due to a costly defeat by Panama.
The knockout stage began with a narrow quarter-final win over Trinidad and Tobago, Raul Jimenez netting with five minutes remaining. However, in the semis Panama again proved too strong, prevailing 2-1 for the second time in the competition.
Mexico thus had to console themselves with an eventual third-place finish, their arch-rivals USA taking the Gold Cup crown after a solitary Brek Shea goal sank Panama in the final to allow them to put one foot in the Russia 2017 showpiece.
In late 2013, De la Torre was dismissed from his post with Miguel Herrera handed the Mexico reigns. El Piojo Herrera swiftly went about improving the dynamic of a squad that went on to reach the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
Second time the charm
Herrera's charges managed to keep the momentum going into the 2015 Gold Cup, where they put to bed the unhappy memories of the 2013 edition. Once again, however, they could only finish runners-up in their group, this time behind Trinidad and Tobago, following a win over Cuba and draws with Guatemala and the Soca Warriors.
Come the knockout stages they twice needed extra time in order to reach the final. First against Costa Rica, when only a penalty by Andres Guardado in the fourth minute of extra time stoppage time put them into a semi with 2013 conquerors Panama. There they gained their revenge, another extra-time spot-kick from Guardado proving decisive in a 2-1 win.
The Americans quickly fought back and levelled within five minutes thanks to a header from Geoff Cameron, though little by little the frenzied start to the game abated, with the scores remaining 1-1 through to the half-time break. No further goals came in an exciting second period, leaving Mexico again pinning their hopes on extra-time heroics..
In the 96th minute Oribe Peralta put El Tri back ahead, only for Bobby Wood to drag USA level once more on 108 minutes. And finally, with just two minutes remaining until a penalty shoot-out would be required, Mexico defender Paul Aguilar summoned up a fierce volleyed finish to secure victory and his country's passage to Russia 2017.
10 - The number of times that Mexico have won the CONCACAF Gold Cup, with closest pursuers USA on five.