Mexico and Panama went toe-to-toe on the Rose Bowl field in Pasadena for the opening day of CONCACAF Gold Cup matches this summer. The game saw Panama take a historic 2 – 1 win over Mexico, a team whose coach, Jose Manuel “Chepo” De La Torre,” has failed to produce enough positive results this year. The game’s result prompted more cries of “Fuera Chepo” from Mexico’s fans.
This being fútbol, it was one hell of a fiesta hours before the game even started. Fans arrived as early as 11am to celebrate the occasion with El Tri supporters outnumbering fans of La Marea Roja nearly 10 to 1. Scores of families chilled in the parking areas grilling tacos de asada and knocking back some chelas while others killed time in the official pre-game area filled with games, food, and more.
The half-time show was quite the spectacle too, as boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya presented nearly 600 mariachis who entered the field. Which explains why I saw a Mariachi Registration booth outside the stadium (I was kind of hoping this was just a standard way to support the team…):
Their goal? To break the world record for largest mariachi serenade! Joining the mariachis was 11 year-old Sebastian De La Cruz who sang the national anthem at two Spurs/Heat NBA playoff games recently. He led the serenade with his renditions of “Cielito Lindo” and “La Negra.”
And, again, with this being fútbol, there were not one but TWO pitch invaders and not one but TWO instances of fans getting into putasos towards the end of the match. “Es que esos babosos ya entran borrachos,” as my mom explained it.
At least no one got shanked/decapitated, like the gruesome events in Brazil last weekend 🙁