Mexico beat Panama 2-1 in their Gold Cup semifinal on Wednesday, but all the talk surrounding this game is not about the action on the pitch.
[ VOTE: Was Mexico’s PK legit? ]
American referee Mark Geiger has been criticized heavily for this performance as he first handed a rather soft red card to Panama’s Luis Tejada in the first half and then awarded a hugely controversial penalty kick to Mexico one minute from time as Andres Guardado scored to take the game into extra time.
Conspiracy theorists have been having a field-day about this PK call, as it is the second game in a row that Mexico has been handed a late controversial penalty.
Mexico were then awarded another PK which Guardado dispatched in extra time — this time it was legit — but El Tri’s victory left a sour taste in the mouth as their fans once again showered opposition players with trash during the game. Fans of Mexico displayed similar behavior in previous Gold Cup games and CONCACAF should really sanction them and issue some kind of ban or fine for the disgusting scenes we witnessed in Atlanta.
[ MORE: Mexico to meet Jamaica in Gold Cup final ]
As for Panama, they should also be sanctioned heavily by CONCACAF as their players and coaching staff charged towards Geiger at the final whistle and remonstrated with the officials who were eventually led off the pitch by several members of security. Ugly scenes.
Let’s look at a few video clips to try and get a clearer picture of the crazy scenes which unfolded at the Georgia Dome.
First up, here are Eric Wynalda’s thoughts on the game which turned into a farce
Geiger gave Mexico a penalty two minutes from time for this
Panama’s players react to Geiger’s decision to give Mexico a penalty kick
After the game Panama’s players protested against “Corrupt CONCACAF”
Mexico’s fans pelted Panama’s players with beer and other trash after they went 1-0 up
And that wasn’t the first time this tournament Mexico’s fans have thrown trash at opposition players