San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Another Gold Cup scandal: 'CONCACAF es una vergüenza'

ATLANTA – Andres Guardado scored twice on penalty kicks Wednesday to give Mexico a 2-1 extra-time triumph over 10-man Panama and a berth against Jamaica in the Gold Cup final.

The Mexican captain had to wait through a melee at the end of regulation time before netting the equalizer, then scored again from the spot in stoppage time of the first of two extra 15-minute periods to finally subdue a Panama side than was a man down after only 25 minutes but still managed to nearly win.

Panama striker Luis Tejada was issued a red card by U.S. referee Mark Geiger for a rough foul, but Panama took the lead on a header by captain Roman Torres in the 57th minute and was on the verge of an emotional victory.

Panama’s Roma Torres (L) celebrates scoring against Mexico during a CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal football match in Atlanta on July 22, 2015.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP

But in the 89th minute, Torres was whistled for a hand ball violation in the penalty area, falling onto the ball after contact with a Mexico forward.

A two-team confrontation followed as Panama players argued Geiger’s call. Both teams followed him to the sidelines to plead their cases and tensions reached a boiling point with shoving and grabbing as spectators hurled food and garbage at players and officials.

Calm was eventually restored, but the extended mess took so long that by the time Guardado left-footed his first penalty kick into the bottom right corner to equalize, it was the 10th minute of stoppage time.

Just three days earlier, Mexico had needed a Guardado stoppage time penalty kick after a controversial foul call beyond the 120th minute to defeat Costa Rica 1-0 in the quarter-finals.

This time, Guardado advanced El Tricolores into 30 minutes of extra time and once again made himself the hero after Panama’s Herold Cummings fouled Mexico’s Javier Orozco in the penalty area.

Guardado stepped to the spot and left-footed a blast into the left corner to put Mexico ahead to stay.

At the final whistle, two Panama players raced from the sidelines onto the field, chasing referee Geiger, before being restrained by teammates. The referee exited the field surrounded by a tight ring of police and security guards.

The Mexicans will try to extend their record to seven Gold Cup titles on Sunday in Philadelphia by taking their third crown in four events with a triumph over the first Caribbean side to reach the Gold Cup championship match.

Jamaica’s “Reggae Boyz” shocked the United States 2-1 in the day’s other semi-final surprise.

Panama had beaten Mexico 2-1 in the 2013 Gold Cup semi-finals before losing 1-0 to the U.S. squad.

The biggest first-half headache came when Tejada was issued a red card. Tejada complained and argued as teammates steered him slowly off the pitch, where he yelled back as he was walking off, sparking fans to hurl items at him. Only after Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa escorted him to the tunnel did the barrage cease.

That set the stage for Panama captain Torres to open the scoring. The veteran defender received a corner kick at the far post, headed the ball to the ground and watched as it bounced in just inside the post and to the right of Ochoa.

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Jan de Wit

looks like this site ,and the commenters,are part of the corrupt system that rules central american football.
you make me puke,disgusting pieces of garbage.
costa rica is a failed state of slaves,
i’ve been there once ,and didn’t know how to get out of there as soon as possible.
sick losers.

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Ken Morris

I doubt that the game was rigged, but the refs made two seriously bad calls against Panama that cast a lot of doubt on Mexico’s win.

Unfortunately, following the second bad call, the Panamanian players forgot sportsmanship and darn near started a brawl. This frankly diminished the sympathy I was inclined to feel for Panama, even though in a curious way I respected Panama’s players for objecting. Alas, in sports, players really shouldn’t start a brawl just because they object to a ref’s call, and in fairness only the slow motion footage from a different angle revealed that the call had been wrong. When it happened, I saw it the way the ref did too. I’m pretty sure that this second bad call by the ref was an honest mistake (although the first bad call was more suspicious).

In any event, the legitimacy of Mexico’s win now remains in doubt, and nobody knows what the outcome would have been had the game been played without questionable calls and a brawl. I thought the two teams were pretty evenly matched, though each had different strengths and weaknesses. I would give the slight edge to Panama, but Mexico could have won straight up too.

Unfortunately, we will never know what might have happened–only the mess that did happen.

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Biblicism Institute

It’s obvious that both games with Costa Rica and Panama were stolen to push Mexico ahead. Why would you call Guardado a hero? Would you call him a hero if he went to a convenient store and was given $10 extra as change in error and he accepted it? It’s call STEALING. The entire Mexico teams needs this>>>

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