By Robert H. Kelly
(Houston, Texas, June 13, 2007) In the second game of the Gold Cup 2007 doubleheader at Houston’s Reliant Stadium, Mexico (1-1-0) faced off against Panama (1-0-1).
With Cuba’s exit in their 5-0 loss to Honduras, both teams were assured of advancing to the quarterfinal round. The only question is who would place 2nd in the group and who they would face in the next round.
In a first half that saw very little offense, Mexico and Panama battled to a scoreless tie. The half saw five yellow cards issued in what can be described as much enthusiasm with very little outcome.
The largely Mexican crowd finally saw a result to all their cheering when Carlos Salcido (PSV Eindhoven- Netherlands) connected with the goal to allow Mexico to go up 1-0.
Two more yellow cards were issued in the 79th minute. Panama’s Jamie Penedo (CA Osaduna-Spain) and Mexico’s Nery Castillo (Olimpiakos-Greece) were charged with the infractions.
Panama allowed the nail to be put in their coffin when Rolando Escobar (Tauro FC) was ordered off with a red card in the 85th minute. As a result, Panama was forced to play the last five minutes with a reduced squad.
To add insult to injury, Panama’s Roman Torres (CD La Equidad-Columbia) was also issued a red card in the 88th minute, dropping Panama’s players strength to nine.
In the second half, the officials issued four yellow cards to bring the game total to nine.
The Miller Lite Player of the Match was Carlos Salcido.