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Panama 2-1 USA: Hosts at risk of Copa America exit after shock defeat

The USA suffered a chaotic defeat to leave their Copa America campaign in the balance

Christian Pulisic playing football for the USA USMNT

USA suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Panama at the Copa America, leaving the hosts likely needing to beat Uruguay in their final group game to avoid elimination.

The Americans were beaten in Atlanta courtsey of an 83rd-minute Jose Fajardo goal after playing much of the game with 10 players following Timothy Weah’s red card just 18 minutes in.

Despite that dismissal, Folarin Balogun opened the scoring in the 22nd minute but Casar Blackman levelled the game four minutes later.

The match finished 10 vs 10 after Adalberto Carrasquilla was also given a straight red for a foul on Christian Pulisic.

USA threw everyone forward – even substitute goalkeeper Ethan Horvath – in the final minutes in search of an equaliser but could not find the goal to prevent just their third defeat to Panama in 27 meetings.

It leaves the Stars and Stripes needing to beat Uruguay in their final game to guarantee a place in the quarter-finals. Marcelo Bielsa’s side have convincingly won both their games so far, winning 3-1 against Panama before thrashing Bolivia 5-0.

Anything less than a win would leave Gregg Berhalter’s side relying on Bolivia to get a result against Panama.

Captain Tyler Adams said after the game: “You never mean to get a red card. [Weah] is not that type of person.

“He apologised to the team, and respect to the rest of the team because they fought for every single ball, every single duel … and we still created chances after going down to 10 men, so it shows our quality.

“Again, all to play for in the last game [of the group].”

The game was marred by online racist abuse targeted towards USA players Weah, Balogun and Weston McKennie after, with the USA issuing a condemning statement after the game.

It read: “There is absolutely no place in the game for such hateful and discriminatory behaviour.

“These actions are not only unacceptable but also contrary to the values of respect and inclusivity that we uphold as an organisation.”

Picture of Cian Cheesbrough

Cian Cheesbrough

Cian is a sports journalist with a wealth of experience writing for national titles, including LiveScore, MailOnline, Eurosport and Sky Sports. He has covered a number of key events during his time in the industry, including from the press box at live Champions League fixtures.

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