Hard fouls and a homophobic song
The game was ugly on the field: four red cards, shoving, a torn jersey, a bloody nose, and off it. Referee Iván Barton ended the game in the eighth minute of added time, instead of playing the full 12 minutes that had been announced, due to a second instance of homophobic chants from the crowd.
The Mexican soccer federation, its players, and officials from Concacaf, the soccer confederation of North, Central America, and the Caribbean, have made many efforts over the years to encourage fans to stop shouting homophobic slurs during the parties. Mexico has been fined more than a dozen times in a failed effort to stamp out homophobic abuse, which remains a feature of gaming in Central and South America. Several years ago, Mexico even recruited its star players to try to persuade fans to stop using it.
But as Mexico, which struggled at last year’s World Cup, played poorly again, the fans grew increasingly restless, chanting the word during a contentious second half. Barton stopped play for the first time in the 90th minute amid chants, and Concacaf PSAs were shown throughout the stadium encouraging fans to stop. When it happened again minutes later, he followed the protocol of the tournament organizers and blew the final whistle to end the match lopsided.
“I want to make it very clear,” United States interim coach BJ Callaghan told reporters then, “it has no place in the game.”
The United States will play Canada in the final on Sunday night in Las Vegas. Canada defeated Panama, 2-0, in the other semifinal on Thursday with goals from Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies.
But due to red cards from the Mexico match, the United States will face Canada, which emerged as the best team in North and Central America last year during World Cup qualifying without two key players after the midfielder Weston McKennie and defender Sergiño Dest were sent off. out for pushing the Mexican players during irritating moments.
In the 70th minute, Folarin Balogun, a talented young striker making his US debut after picking England and Nigeria, stole the ball from César Montes, who brought Balogun down from behind. Montes instantly received a red card, but players from both teams began to push each other.