Panama players considering protesting third-place game vs. USMNT

Panama players considering protesting third-place game vs. USMNT

CONCACAF

Panama players considering protesting third-place game vs. USMNT

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photo by Jason Getz/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

CONCACAF Crooks.

That is what was written on a banner that Panama’s players made and held up after their controversial loss to Mexico on Wednesday, minutes before attacker Luis Tejada revealed that the Canaleros were contemplating not playing in Satuday’s third-place match.

Panama suffered a 2-1 defeat in extra time to Mexico in a CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals game on Wednesday night. The Panamanians were reduced to 10 men midway through the first half and gave up two controversial penalty kicks late in the match, including in the 89th minute when the score was, 1-0, in their favor.

Panama was demonstratively livid with each of American referee Mark Geiger’s big calls, and after the match displayed unhappiness. The Canaleros first huddled around a banner that called out CONCACAF and made the rounds on social media. Then, Luis Tejada – the Panama player sent off with a questionable red card in the 25th minute –  said the team was considering protesting Saturday’s third-place game against the U.S. Men’s National Team.

“We’re going to gather as players and make a good decision as to what will happen with the third-place game,” Tejada told Panama television network RPCTV.

“I left my team with 10 players, we took the lead without anyone gifting us anything, and we know we got robbed,” Tejada added. “We did everything we could, but we were defenseless without guns and were robbed. The group is working for the good of Panamanian soccer.”

If Panama does decide to participate in the third-place game, it will do so on Saturday vs. the U.S. at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.

The two nations previously met in the group stage, playing to a 1-1 draw after goals from Blas Perez and Michael Bradley.

Here is the aforementioned banner the Panama players unveiled:

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What do you think about Panama speaking out about Wednesday night’s controversial game? Do you see the third-place game being played vs. the USMNT? Expecting CONCACAF to punish the Canaleros even if they do take the field?

Share your thoughts below.

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