Mexico beat Panama 2-1 in extra time of the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal thanks to a controversial penalty in the 89th minute that led to a game-tying penalty kick by Mexico.
The penalty came in the 89th minute, with Panama up 1-0, when Mexico played a long pass into the box. After falling to the ground, Román Torres of Panama (in red) got up, lost his balance, and then fell back to the ground on top of the ball. A hand ball was called and a penalty kick was awarded to Mexico.
While the announcers were divided on whether this should have been a penalty, it was clear Torres was fouled with a kick to the legs from behind leading to the initial fall and it is unclear if he ever saw the ball before falling the second time.
After that, all hell broke loose in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Fans started throwing things on to the field. Players started to scuffle and throw things at each other near the benches.
One player from Panama was even seen taking something out of a team cooler and randomly throwing it at fans in the stands.
Torres even got in Mexico coach Miguel Herrera’s face at one point:
The match was delayed for more than 10 minutes before order was restored. Andrés Guardado eventually came back to the field and converted the penalty to equalise the match.
Guardado’s celebration was muted, despite giving Mexico hope for reaching the Gold Cup final.
“I didn’t celebrate, because that penalty call left me with a bad taste,” Guardado told Fox Sports 2 after the match (via SportingNews.com).
Guardado even went so far as to say he considered missing the penalty on purpose.
“I thought about it, but one has to be professional,” Guardado told the media. “We’ve been on the other side.”
Panama played most of the match with only 10 players after another controversial call when Luis Tejada was given a red card for striking an opponent in the face as both went up to play a long ball.
Mexico went on to score on a second penalty in extra time on a clear foul that led to the 2-1 victory. However, after the match chaos broke loose once again as players and coaches for Panama charged the referee.
He would eventually be escorted off the pitch by security.
In the locker room, Panama was not shy about how they felt about the match, holding up a sign that translates to “CONCACAF THIEVES.”
And the cover of one Panama newspaper went a step further, Photoshopping a wad of American cash into the hand of the referee with a headline that translates to, “F****** REFEREE!”
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