Written by 14:45 Sports

USA stunned by Panama in dramatic 2-1 Copa America loss

The US Men’s National Team’s (USMNT) journey in the 2024 Copa America has taken a dramatic and damaging turn.

Following a promising debut, the team’s performance against Panama has left fans and critics questioning the direction and leadership under manager Gregg Berhalter.

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Timothy Weah’s sent off proved costly for USA

Needing only a win against a Panama team ranked 32 spots below them in the FIFA rankings, the Americans faltered in a game that will be remembered as a national embarrassment.

The match, which ended in a 2-1 loss, showcased some of the worst passing from the USMNT, with only 116 completed passes and a mere 60 percent accuracy.

Adding to the chaos, the team played over 75 minutes with ten men after winger Timothy Weah was sent off for striking Panama’s Roderick Miller in the face, an incident caught by VAR.

The game, held in Atlanta, saw the USMNT initially take the lead with a stunning goal from Folarin Balogun at the 22-minute mark.

However, the lead was short-lived as Panama’s Cesar Blackman equalized only minutes later.

As the game progressed, Panama’s numerical advantage began to show, and in the 83rd minute, Jos Fajardo’s goal secured a euphoric win for Panama.

Panama’s intensity was too much for USA

The match was marred by physicality and a series of contentious moments, including a disallowed goal for the USMNT in the opening minutes due to an offside call on Tim Ream.

USMNT captain Christian Pulisic was subjected to a cynical foul by Adalberto Carrasquilla in the dying moments of the match, which saw the Panamanian player also sent off.

Despite this, Panama held on to their lead, leaving the USMNT with a daunting task ahead.

Midfielder Tyler Adams reflected on the chaotic nature of the game, describing it as an “emotional roller coaster.”

His sentiments were echoed by many, as the US now faces the pressure of needing a win against Uruguay in their final Group C match to advance to the knockout stages.

This loss has not only put their Copa America hopes in jeopardy but has also cast a shadow over Berhalter’s future with the team.

With the stakes higher than ever, the USMNT must regroup and find a way to overcome the formidable challenge posed by Uruguay.

The USA’s third and final group-stage match will be held on Monday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.


Last modified: 1 July 2024