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The Copa Mexico, currently known as the MX Cup, is an official soccer tournament played between clubs in Mexico. Two short tournaments are played per annual football cycle (each with its champion) called Apertura and Clausura (in that order) and involve clubs from the Primera División and Liga de Ascenso. It was instituted in 1932 by the Mexican Football Federation to replace the multiple coperos tournaments organized at the end of each league campaign, of which only two had the support and recognition, first of the extinct Amateur Association and then of the Federation founded in 1922: The Tower Cup (1907-1921) and the Qualifying Cup (1921-1926).

The great difference with the league tournaments was its system of direct elimination competition, preceded by group rounds and crowned with emotional finals, full of color, festivity and covered with the presence of federatives, directors and sometimes the President of the Republic (even the tournament came to be called President’s Cup).

At the time it was considered a tournament of equal level and expectation that the League Championship, the participating clubs, federatives, press and fans gave equal value and seriousness to both titles, and was seen as the opportunity to repair a bad season in the League. However, over the years the tournament lost seriousness and regularity; with constant changes of format (direct elimination, league system, group rounds by geographical location, single matches, etc.), as well as suspensions (the first between 1976 and 1988, the second between 1992 and 1994, and the third from 1997 to 2012) and scheduling problems (was played before, during and after the league tournament on several occasions, the most common was after this; with the birth of the league was accustomed to the end of the first round).


The first ancestor of the Copa Mexico began in 1907 thanks to the donation of the so-called Tower Cup by Mr. Reginald Tower, then ambassador of the United Kingdom in Mexico. This tournament only incorporated clubs from the area of Mexico City and surroundings, the first team to obtain the title was Pachuca.

In 1919 Real Club España won the Copa Tower trophy for life, so the First Force league donated another trophy, which was called the Qualifying Cup.

With the founding of the Mexican Football Federation in 1922, a third trophy was donated in 1932, so the tournament was renamed Copa Mexico. This arose thanks to the support received by the then president of Mexico Lázaro Cárdenas. The first Mexican Cup was won by Club Necaxa in 1932-33, the same season in which they won the league, so they got the first double in history. During the tournament the teams had the obligation to debut new elements and referees.

In April 1943, a meeting was held between Mexican soccer leaders, in which it was agreed to professionalize national soccer. Thus, the 1942-43 Mexican Cup was the first edition of the tournament under this new status when it was played between May 30, 1943 and September 19 of the same year; after the dissolution of the Jalisco National Team, Guadalajara and Atlas participated in this cup for the first time, in addition to the A.D.O. and Veracruz.

In the 1944-45 season, Puebla was the best First Division debutant in history, not only for having been runner-up in the league, but for having won the Cup title by defeating America 6-4 in the final.

The system of direct elimination competition, which punished a bad afternoon or a bad performance in a series of large teams, or that benefited a moment of good football to small teams, made it difficult on most occasions that a Club with great performance in the league, could achieve the same thing in the Cup, and even more difficult was the possibility of winning both tournaments, a situation that only happened on five occasions.

In the 1948-49 season, the Lion Club became the third to win both tournaments (League and Cup) and the first to hold the title of Championísimo. This considering that when Necaxa and Asturias achieved the double in the thirties, the trophy of Champion of Champions (and the definition of Championísimo) did not exist.

The same high competition generated by the system, prevented on several occasions that a team achieved the twice championship, which only happened four times. It is worth mentioning the case of Asturias that achieved the only three-time championship in history between 1939 and 1941; period in which it also obtained the double (1938-39). The second bicampeón was the Atlante, winner of the seasons 1950-51 and 1951-52.

America won the Mexican Cup twice in the 1953-54 and 1954-55 tournaments, defeating Guadalajara in both finals, standing out the first in which in a series of emotional penalties (executed by only one player per team) the then “Canarios” beat “Chivas” 3-2, in what some consider to be the origin of the Classic of Classics given the intensity and rivalry that generated both final games.

The Guadalajara champion could not reflect in the Copa tournament his domination and success of the League, since in that golden age he could only obtain the championship twice, in the seasons 1962-63 and 1969-70, in this last one he conquered the two titles and he was proclaimed very champion defeating in the final to Torreon FC the second team recently promoted in reaching the final of the Cup (Tampico FC achieved it in 1959/60 and lost it to Necaxa). In 1966-67 Guadalajara lost the final to Leon.

America won the penultimate two-time championship in the history of the Mexican Cup in the 1963-64 and 1964-65 seasons.

Cruz Azul became the second-highest champion in history in the 1968-69 season when they beat Monterrey 2-1 in extra time.

Over the years, the Cup was losing, seriousness and regularity. The league and the increase of First division teams from 16 to 18 in 1970 and to 20 in 1974, with the consequent increase of regular season matches, tightened the calendar to the detriment of competition, so it began to be played in a short period between the first and second round with systems ranging from the single group to single elimination matches. In 1976 it was totally suspended in order to allow for a looser schedule.

In 1988 the tournament resurfaced, but the passing of the years, the expectation generated by the league and the little interest of fans, press and teams made this tournament a kind of window for the debut of young people, or preparation matches for the League. This meant a drop in the number of players and little attendance at the stadiums.

Puebla in 1989-90 and Club Necaxa in 1994-95 were the last teams to win the double and be recognized as Champions.

Tigres UANL won the Cup championship in 1995-96, in the month of March and in June descended to Primera A.

After the 1995-96 season, long tournaments ceased to exist in Mexico and a short tournament format was adopted (Summer-Winter), with a group-based classification system and a final league. Thus, the show that offered the cup using the format “Round Robin” (All against all) began to lose the interest of the fans. This combined with factors such as poor coverage of sporting and economic expectations made the tournament in decline.

In 1997 it is reported that Mexico has been given the opportunity to participate in the Copa Libertadores in its 1998 edition, which led to the Mexican Cup tournament coming to an end, as the agenda for Mexican teams would be too tight, attending commitments of 2 confederations, Concacaf and CONMEBOL.

The tournament has not been played since then, but for the 2012-13 season, the Copa tournament is resurrected under a new format and the name MX Cup, with one tournament being played during the 2012 Apertura Tournament and another during the 2013 Clausura Tournament, 28 teams participating during the Apertura (14 First Division and 14 Promotion League), and 24 teams participating during the Clausura (11 First Division and 13 Promotion League).

Dorados de Sinaloa won the 2012 Apertura, defeating UAT Correcaminos in a 7-6 penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw in regulation time, thus becoming the first champion from a second professional division in Mexico (Ascenso Bancomer MX) to win the Cup (in 1970, the Torreon had been the only second division club to reach the final), and the first under this new format. In turn, the Dorados won the first major title in their history, as their other titles are second division.

Cruz Azul were crowned visitors to the 2013 Clausura tournament when they defeated Atlante 4-2 on penalties. For the cement team, winning the Cup meant breaking a 15-year fast without winning a title.

Due to changes in the competition rules of the MX Cup, in 2013 the MX Super Cup was implemented, a tournament in which the champions of the MX Cup of the Opening and Closing tournaments of the same soccer year will face each other for a ticket to the Copa Libertadores granting the quota of “Mexico 3”. However, in 2017 the Mexican teams stopped participating in this competition.

For the 2016 Opening, the format of the tournament changed and is now played with 8 groups of 3 teams each, to the final phase qualify the first two of each group, and now the final phase begins from the round of eighths of final, to single match in the stadium of the team best positioned in the overall table.

Competition system

From its foundation I use the traditional system of direct elimination, which characterizes the contests of this type. In the 1943, 1944 and 1945 editions, the participants were distributed for the first time in groups, there was no success and immediately returned to the direct elimination. New directors arrived and resumed forming sectors again in three consecutive campaigns: 1952, 1953 and 1954, with results very similar to the previous ones; it was spoken then of suspending it, but not, it was returned to the series with round trips.

In the absence of football with the preparation of the Mexican team that participated in the 1962 World Cup, it was decided to return to the group format to fill free dates. The idea was well accepted and, in fact, eight of the following 13 tournaments were played in the same way, wearing down the public with little football and lack of interest from the coaches, until 1976 when the project was aborted.

The tournament was reinstated in 1987, with only five seasons being played as it was not affordable. It returned for the third time in 1994, with only three versions, and for the same reasons as before, it disappeared. In all of them with group rounds and including teams from the newly formed “A” First Division. As it happened in the 1964-65 edition when teams from the Second Division participated.

Currently, the teams of the MX League and Ascenso MX participate discounting those who participate in continental tournaments.