Panama were denied a Gold Cup final place in controversial circumstances last night after Mexico were gifted two late penalties in their semi-final.
The first major point of the night came with Luis Tejada’s sending off after 25 minutes:
With the Panamanians down to 10 men, but in the lead thanks to Roman Torres’ second-half headed goal, Mexico ploughed forward in the hope of an equaliser – which they got thanks to the second big decision from American referee Mark Geiger.
As can be seen in the following video, Torres seemingly stops Mexico from breaking through in the box in the 89th minute only for Geiger to point straight to the spot after the Panama defender falls on the ball:
We can only assume that penalty was given for a handball.
Anyway, Mexico equalised through Andres Guardado and the game went to extra-time – and that went just 13 minutes before the Mexicans had their second penalty.
After the ball was chested down into the path of Javier Orozco, Panama’s Harold Cummings cut off the striker in the box for what was deemed as a foul by Geiger:
We’re not so sure.
But step up Guardado to do the same from the spot and Mexico were heading for an unlikely Gold Cup final place.
The Panama players refused to take the result lightly, charging at the referee on the full-time whistle and missiles were thrown from the stands before the officials were ushered off the pitch by police.
But the biggest statement came in the Panama changing room when the squad posed with a huge banner labelling CONCACAF as “thieves” and accused them of being “corrupt”:
— #Futbología10 (@futbologia) July 23, 2015
It remains to be seen whether Panama will be punished for the actions of their players during and after last night’s game.
But Mexico will now be the ones preparing for Monday’s Gold Cup final with surprise opponents Jamaica.