Maradona demands replay of controversial Gold Cup semi-final

Buenos Aires, July 24 (IANS) Argentina football legend Diego Maradona has voiced his support for Panama demanding replay of the Gold Cup semi-final where they were ousted by Mexico in controversial circumstances.

Mexico beat Panama 2-1 after extra time on Wednesday facilitating from a controversial penalty decision by American referee Mark Geiger, which allowed them to equalise late in the second-half.

Mexico will face Jamaica in the final on Sunday.

“My deepest sympathy to the players of Panama. The game should be replayed and the referee expelled,” Maradona wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday.

Maradona was also quick to point similarities of the match with the World Cup final in 1990 where West Germany won 1-0 against Argentina.

German defender Andreas Brehme’s 85th-minute spot kick conversion- earned after striker Rudi Voller went down softly in the area – ensured the Germans had the better of their rivals in that match.

“The transparency is still missing since the days of Italy ’90, when the Mexican referee Codesal robbed us all Argentines,” the 1986 World Cup winner wrote.

The Gold Cup match was halted for 11 minutes after Panama players protested the decision. Bottles were tossed to the ground and there were scuffles too.

Winger Andres Guardado converted the penalty to restore parity for Mexico.

The forward then found the winner, also from the spot, in the first period of extra time.

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