Panama scores late goal, beats shorthanded Americans at Copa America

Jun 27, 2024, 5:38 PM

Referee Ivan Barton sends off Tim Weah of the United States, left, during a Copa America Group C so...

Referee Ivan Barton sends off Tim Weah of the United States, left, during a Copa America Group C soccer match against Panama in Atlanta, Thursday, June 27, 2024. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

(AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

ATLANTA (AP) — Jose Fajardo beat backup goalkeeper Ethan Horvath in the 83rd minute to give Panama a 2-1 victory over the United States at the Copa America on Thursday night and put the Americans in danger of elimination if they don’t beat Uruguay in their first-round finale.

The U.S. played nearly the entire game a man down after a silly foul by Tim Weah in the 18th minute.

Folarin Balogun put the short-handed U.S. ahead in the 22nd minute but César Blackman tied the score in the 26th.

Horvath, who replaced injured Matt Turner at halftime, couldn’t prevent Fajardo’s close-range shot from going through his arms, and Panama beat the U.S. for just the third time in 27 meetings.

The U.S., which opened with a win against Bolivia, likely will need to beat 15-time champion Uruguay on Monday at Kansas City, Missouri, in order to finish among the top two teams in Group C and earn a quarterfinal berth.

Panama lost to Uruguay 3-1 and closes against Bolivia, a team with 13 straight Copa America losses going into Thursday night’s game against the Uruguayans.

Failure to advance from the biggest test for the Americans ahead of the 2026 World Cup will raise questions about whether coach Gregg Berhalter should remain in charge.

Weston McKennie appeared to put the U.S. ahead in the fifth minute but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Panama also finished a man short after Adalberto Carrasquilla was given a red card in the 88th for chopping down Christian Pulisic from behind. The U.S. threw everyone forward in a desperate attempt to tie the game — including Horvath — but Panama held.

Turner left with a bruised leg and Horvath entered in his first game for club or country since May 4.

Weah was sent off by Salvadoran referee Iván Barton with a straight red card for punching Roderick Miller in the back of the head. A pro-American crowd of 59,145 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium was irate, especially after two other calls went against the host country.

Chris Richards’ header from Pulisic’s corner kick was deflected off the crossbar by goalkeeper Orlando Mosquera, and a video review determined Tim Ream was offside when he poked the ball to McKennie, who put the ball in from near the penalty spot.

Blackman did not receive a card when he collided in the 12th minute with a leaping Turner, who landed awkwardly on his right arm and was down for several minutes while being tended to by medical personnel.

Balogun scored after a sloppy clearance. Antonee Robinson dribbled into the penalty area and passed to the striker. Balogun exchanged taps with Robinson and curled a shot from the edge of the area off the inside of the far post and in for his fifth goal in 14 appearances.

Blackman tied the score in the 26th when he took a pass from Adalberto Carrasquilla at the arc, dribbled around Robinson and shot through the legs of Richards and just past Turner’s outstretched arm.

Berhalter made three substitutions to start the second half.

The Americans benefitted from a video review in the 63rd minute after Cameron Carter-Vickers, another substitution, was whistled for taking down Fajardo in the area. The call was reversed when a video review, which showed Fajardo already had crossed the ball when Carter-Vickers made contact.

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