Match Report

Panama Beats USA in Copa America Upset: Biggest Talking Points

Panama stunned the United States on Thursday with a dramatic 2-1 victory in a fiery Group C clash at the Copa America. The U.S., playing at home in Atlanta, were dealt a heavy blow early on when Tim Weah received a red card in the 18th minute.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, the U.S. took the lead through Folarin Balogun. Los Canaleros did capitalise on their extra man, however, with Cesar Blackman and Jose Fajardo finding the net to secure a comeback win.

Panama also saw a red card in the 88th minute as Adalberto Carrasquilla was sent off for a rough challenge on Christian Pulisic. But, it was too little too late for the Star and Stripes to get back into the game.

The win puts both teams on three points in the group, but the U.S. hold a slight edge due to superior goal difference. To advance to the knockout stages, the U.S. will need to at least match Panama’s result in their final group match.

Panama vs USA Copa America 2024: Biggest Talking Points

Tim Weah Only Has Himself to Blame for the Red Card

Utterly inexcusable. There’s simply no way around it. Red cards happen in the heat of the game sometimes, but this? About as daft as it gets.

Weah’s a seasoned player, so he’ll be well aware of what a colossal error this was. It’s completely out of character for him too. Usually, Weah’s the calming influence, the most relaxed bloke in the squad. He rarely loses his composure, but in this crucial moment, he did.

Agitating the home team was part of Panama’s game plan, and Weah fell for it in the worst possible way. It’s imprudent to flail the arms around an opponent’s head. Intentional or not, the Juventus man gave the referee a red card decision to make.

Weah’s action was more of a reckless lunge than a controlled swing, giving the referee a clear-cut decision. Sent off, Weah left his teammates high and dry to face the consequences of his rash act.

This one red card throws the whole tournament into jeopardy. It’s a summer that could define the legacies of these USMNT stars, and now it all hangs in the balance after a moment of madness.

Matt Turner’s Injury Comes As a Big Blow to USMNT’s Copa America Ambitions

Turner deserves credit for battling on after a nasty collision. It was a real clatter, the sort that could easily have ended his involvement. He dusted himself down and soldiered on, at least for the rest of the half. Unfortunately, the pain proved too much in the end.

The number one was forced off at half-time, but not before Panama clawed their way back moments after the U.S. opener through Balogun. It was a catalogue of errors on the goal; a misplaced pass, a missed tackle from Richards, and ultimately, Turner just couldn’t get enough on the shot.

Turner’s fitness for the Uruguay clash is a major concern. The U.S. would be dealt a massive blow if they have to go into such a crucial match without their first-choice goalkeeper. All eyes will be on Turner’s recovery as he faces one of the biggest games of his career.

Folrain Balogun Shines

Questions about Folarin Balogun can be put to bed. He was the olny beacon of hope for the USMNT on Thursday, but his heroics were ultimately in vain.

Just after Weah’s sending off, Balogun rose to the occasion with a thunderous strike. It would’ve been a vital goal in any match, but in this tense atmosphere, it felt like a potential game-changer.

It was the perfect response the US needed, but they couldn’t capitalise on it and regain control.

Just four minutes later, the US carelessly surrendered the lead. Despite this setback, Balogun refused to give up. He rattled the crossbar later in the match and was a constant threat with his blistering pace.

Ultimately, it wasn’t to be for the US, but Balogun can hold his head high – he couldn’t have given much more.

He’ll be crucial going forward, especially with the tough tests that lie ahead. Balogun has shown the temperament for big occasions, stepping up when few others did against Panama.