The Panama National Fùtbol team is into the Gold Cup final, having defeated the USMNT on penalty kicks after a hard-fought game that went into extra time. And though the Central American team seemed superior for most of the game, for a while there, it seemed like the game would turn the USMNT’s way – and what fans were calling CONCACAF’s dream final: USMNT vs Mexico would come to pass.
In the end, only half of that dream final materialized, with Mexico beating Jamaica 3-0 to reach the final, setting the stage for a Panama-Mexico final this upcoming Sunday afternoon. But even then, fans couldn’t stop talking about how it felt like it almost didn’t happen because of what looked like a clear bias for USMNT to win.
Panama played a tighter game than the USMNT, controlling possession early and always seeming to have a clearer plan of attack. The Central American team opened the score in stoppage time, but the US equalized just a few minutes after. Earlier, though, Panama scored two goals that were ruled offside and were robbed of a penalty kick after a video review that determined USMNT’s Djordje Mihailovic did not commit a handball.
It seemed like a familiar story to people watching, with some pointing out that it seemed like the CONCACAF really wanted the USMNT in the final.
Others were convinced Panama was being robbed, with some pointing out it wasn’t even the first time.
In fact, even the FOX announcers were surprised to see what was going on.
The end result quieted the comments, with Panama getting what everyone from the FOX announcers to the internet regarded as the deserved win, but there was still a sense that the Panama national team almost lost a game they should have won easily. And with another game against a heavily favored team that hasn’t really played well coming on Sunday (July 16), well, the internet will surely be watching to see how things develop.