Panama lost to Mexico in an extremely controversial Gold Cup semi-final match last night. Panama's Diario Critica was none too pleased about the result, or how it came about, and went with the "Fucking Referee!" headline. New York Post, the bar has been set.
The deck was stacked against Panama almost immediately when Luis Tejada received a straight red card for a fairly tame challenge against Francisco Rodriguez. As Tejada and Rodriguez went in the air for the ball, Tejada's arm hit Rodriguez in the face. Clearly a foul, but probably not a red card.
Panama, now down to 10 men for the remainder of the game, rushed referee Mark Geiger immediately to dispute the call, something that we would see more of throughout the game. Despite that, they took a 1-0 lead in the early stages of the second half when Roman Torres headed in a corner kick. Torres, however factored in on another controversial call that went El Tri's way, when — in the 99th minute — Geiger ruled that he handled the ball inside the penalty area, and awarded Mexico a penalty.
Panama lost their shit again, and after a lengthy delay, Andres Guardado buried the penalty to equalise. Miguel Herrera said he didn't think it was a penalty, and Guardado himself said he considered missing on purpose.
Guardado scored again early in the first half of extra time from another penalty to give Mexico a 2-1 lead. Panama kept pressing at the end of the game and when it looked like they would have one more throw-in before time was up, Geiger blew his whistle and the match was over. Nearly the entire Panamanian team rushed Geiger again and he, along with his officiating team, had to be escorted off the pitch by security.
All night, the crowd — who had been throwing beer and detritus onto the pitch — and the players were teetering on the brink of total meltdown, and the referees barely had any control over the situation. Following the game, Panama expressed their true feelings for the CONCACAF "thieves." All in all, not a great night for CONCACAF.