Mexico, Panama get in heated exchange over controversial call

Written By Caroline Sikes

The match was all but over between Panama and Mexico in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals, but with minutes left, the benches cleared in a rowdy scuffle.

Panama, playing a man down, held a 1-0 lead and just needed to sit on the ball to claim a spot in the final. Unfortunately, Roman Torres — who scored Panama's goal — fell on the ball in the box and was called for a hand ball. Torres' teammates began arguing with the referee and things quickly fell apart.

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Both teams started onto the field and met around the midfield line. That's when a Mexican substitute appeared to push one of the Panamanian players and both teams got into a bit of a shoving match, while fans began hurling objects from the stands.

After more than five minutes of deliberation and standing around, the referees granted Mexico a penalty kick, which Andres Guardado converted, to send the match into extra time.

That's two matches in a row a controversial call in the final seconds has gone Mexico's way.

UPDATE: Mexico is the beneficiary of another call in the box. This one, a bit more understandable, led to Guardado netting another penalty kick and giving his team a 2-1 lead. Quite the turnaround here.

UPDATE 2: Mexico won 2-1 and advanced to the final. Panama's players sprinted to midfield after the final whistle to berate American referee Mark Geiger.

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