Watch: Panama, Mexico scuffle in chaotic Gold Cup semifinal match
Panama striker Luis Tejada was sent off on a controversial red card midway through the first half of Wednesday’s CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal against Mexico in Atlanta for elbowing an opponent, the first of several chaotic moments in an emotionally charged game between the two sides.
In the 25th minute on Wednesday, Tejada and Mexican defender Francisco Rodriguez went up for a ball just past midfield. As the two collided in mid-air, Tejada’s hand and arm struck Rodriguez in the face. Referee Mark Geiger issued a red card, prompting Tejada and several of his teammates to confront Geiger.
The game was a scoreless draw at that time, and remained one into halftime.
Univision presented a longer view of the play on the Spanish-language broadcast.
In Sunday’s quarterfinal, Mexico defeated Costa Rico 1–0 on an Andres Guardado penalty in the 124th minute after a controversial penalty was awarded to El Tri in stoppage time of the second period of extra time. Two minutes prior, referee Walter Lopez called a foul on Costa Rica’s Roy Miller as he and Mexico’s Oribe Peralta went up for a cross.
After strong protests from Los Ticos, Guardado buried the penalty kick for the late lead and the victory.
Later in Wednesday’s game, fans in Atlanta appeared to tire of the controversial calls, throwing debris onto the field after Panama took a 1–0 lead on a Roman Torres header in the 56th minute.
Mexico tied the game in the 99th minute on a Guardado penalty before extra time. On the broadcast, Univision’s announcer mockingly credited Geiger with the goal for setting the kick up with the controversial penalty call, proclaiming, “Goaaaal, de Mark Geiger!”
After the game, Panama took a team photo in the locker room holding a banner referring to CONCACAF as ladrones, meaning “thieves.”