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Gold Cup: Mexico reaches final by controversially defeating Panama in extra time


Active Member
Jul 20, 2001
Dirty Money
Gold Cup: Mexico reaches final by controversially defeating Panama in extra time

A disgrace. An absolute disgrace.

In a reminder of the reform that CONCACAF, the governing body for North American, Central American, and Caribbean football, so desperately needs, Mexico was essentially gifted a place in the Gold Cup final, receiving decision after decision in its favour en route to a 2-1 extra-time win at the Georgia Dome.

The controversy kicked off in the 25th minute, when Luis Tejada inexplicably received a straight red card for elbowing Francisco Rodriguez. The incident was undoubtedly worthy of a yellow card, but how referee Mark Geiger came to the conclusion it was worthy of a sending-off is tough to establish.

A furious Tejada took his time exiting the pitch as teammate Anibal Godoy was assigned a yellow card for protesting the decision.

Tensions continued to rise as the match wore on, both on the pitch and in the stands. Just before the interval, Mexico's Paul Aguilar collapsed to the ground after the slightest of nudges from Armando Cooper. Perhaps seeking justice, Adolfo Machado then went in for a vicious challenge on Andres Guardado that went unpunished.

All of this, however, paled in comparison to what unfolded in the second half.

Despite being down to 10 players, Panama continued to outplay Mexico, creating chance after chance with an endearing determination. And finally, in the 55th minute, Hernan Dario Gomez's side was rewarded for its pressure as captain Roman Torres thumped an emphatic header past an outstretched Guillermo Ochoa.

Panama's celebrations were unfortunately interrupted by Mexican supporters who launched projectiles, an issue that has been prevalent at many - if not all - of El Tri's Gold Cup fixtures.


Fast forward to the 89th minute.

Just when it looked like Mexico had exhausted all of its options, Geiger came to the rescue of Miguel Herrera's side, awarding a penalty just as referee Walter Lopez had done in the quarterfinals, when he pointed to the spot in the 120th minute and allowed Mexico to defeat Costa Rica 1-0.

Geiger was under the impression that Torres had handled the ball in Panama's penalty area ...

At this point, the game descended into chaos. Already confident that Geiger - and perhaps CONCACAF - was doing everything in its power to ensure that Mexico reached the final, Panama's players reached a tipping point. Scuffles broke out on the touchline, next to the managers and benches, and supporters once again threw projectiles onto the pitch.

It was, simply put, anarchy, and there were concerns that the match would be abandoned.

Torres, whose alleged handling of the ball had triggered the violence, even appeared to indicate that he wouldn't continue playing.

Eventually, 11 minutes later to be specific, things calmed down enough in order for Mexico to take its penalty, and Guardado - just like in the quarterfinals - stepped up to the spot and made no mistake, blasting a shot past Jaime Penedo.

Given the circumstances, it was hard to believe that another 30 minutes of football had to be played to determine a winner. But nonetheless, extra time took place.

And just when it seemed like things couldn't get any crazier, a cat invaded the pitch in what was probably some type of omen.

Knowing that a penalty shootout was likely its only chance at advancing to the final, Panama then fell victim to another controversial decision, as Machado made contact with Javier Orozco and Mexico was awarded its second penalty.

The foul warranted more of a penalty claim than the one that took place at the end of the second half. However, the entire match had become such a farce that, at that point, Panama had likely already accepted its fate, knowing that nothing could stop Geiger and CONCACAF's influence over the game.

Sure enough, it was Guardado who once again stepped up to the penalty spot and gave Mexico a lead that wouldn't be surrendered.

As expected, the final whistle resulted in Panama's players - as well as manager Gomez - swarming Geiger, demanding for answers and seeking a retribution that would never come.

Others, such as Cooper, headed for Mexico's bench and needed to be separated by Torres, who was surely already thinking about the ridiculous discipline that his teammates will be subjected to from CONCACAF.

Matches like this, where referees such as Geiger hijack the outcome, have become more and more prevalent in CONCACAF, an association that already holds a reputation for being corrupt. Few things are sadder in sport than seeing what Panama was forced to experience, and Gomez's post-match comments were understandably depressing.

Bolillo Gomez: I thought inside, Lord, I don't want to continue in football. It wasn't the Mex or Pan players fault.

— ESPN Tri (@ESPNFCtri) July 23, 2015

Mexico will take on Jamaica in the Gold Cup final at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Sunday, while Panama will face the United States Men's National Team in the consolation game on Saturday.

Copyright © 2015 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.


Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2001
Dirty Money
Tragic, but fcuking entertaining to watch. ;)

Although the 2nd penalty is far from 'controversial' IMHO.
Probably the only decent call Geiger made.

Geiger, Geiger, Geiger.

What is with that name anyway?


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