Panama Protests Controversial Loss To Mexico In 2015 Gold Cup (Photo, Videos)


Jul 23, 2015

American soccer referee Mark Geiger probably shouldn’t go to Panama anytime soon.

Geiger controversially awarded Mexico two penalty kicks at Panama’s expense Wednesday in the dying minutes of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal. Mexico converted both to overturn a one-goal deficit and oust Panama from the tournament.

Geiger scrutiny began in the first half when he dismissed Panama forward Luis Tejada for a foul on Francisco Rodriguez in the 25th minute, reducing the underdogs to 10 players. Panama swarmed Geiger for the first of many times.

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Despite playing down a man, Panama grabbed the opening goal on Roman Torres’ 57th-minute header.

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Panama bravely clung to its narrow advantage for the next 30 minutes and looked set to appear in its second consecutive Gold Cup final. That is until Geiger ruled Torres had handled the ball inside Panama’s penalty area and awarded Mexico a spot-kick in the 89th minute.

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Geiger’s call sparked more fury from Panama, whose protests sparked a near brawl, which delayed the game for nearly 11 minutes, as fans rained debris onto the field.

Mexico’s Andres Guardado converted the penalty kick. His goal tied the game and sent it into extra time.

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Geiger awarded Mexico its second penalty kick of the game in the 104th minute after Harold Cummings fouled Javier Orozco. Panama was mad again. Guardado scored again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

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Geiger’s litany decisions incensed Panama, whose protests started on the field, extended into the dressing room and continued well into Thursday. For the uninitiated, the Spanish word “Ladrones translates into “thieves” in English.

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After the game, Panama coach Hernan Dario Gomez said he’s considering retiring from his profession out of anger and disappointment. Panama wants CONCACAF’s referees to do the same.

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Thumbnail photo via John Bazemore/The Associated Press

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