Panama coach Hernan Gomez said referee Marlon Mejia’s influence on their 1-1 CONCACAF Gold Cup draw to Honduras was “criminal”.
Gomez’s men coughed up a lead for the second time in as many Gold Cup games, conceding in the 81st minute when Andy Najar tucked away Jaime Penedo’s penalty save in Foxborough.
Referring to the penalty – and also to Honduras coach Jorge Luis Pinto’s claim Panama were not out to win – Gomez slammed both Mejia and Pinto.
“That’s a lie [from Pinto], we took the initiative, we made the first goal, but the referee… gives us the second [goal], the game changes, which he took to Honduras is criminal, no doubt,” Gomez told a news conference.
“Jorge is my friend, and wrong. If you get to see the game in the final minutes was more for Honduras, but the rest was more or less even, because we went to the attack on several occasions.”
Gomez continued his rebuttal of Pinto’s comments, claiming his fellow Colombian coach misspoke when he claimed Panama were negative.
“Jorge Luis is blind because he says that we go out to defend. We had the result in our favour [at 1-0 up] and we then complicated the game,” Gomez said.
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