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USMNT, down a player after Timothy Weah red card, falls to Panama in shocking Copa América match

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The United States men’s national soccer team, down a man after Timothy Weah’s early red card in the first half, couldn’t hold off constant pressure Thursday from Panama, which captured a 2-1 win in a Copa América group stage match. 

The USMNT was searching for another victory in the group stage after taking down Bolivia Sunday. A U.S. win would have made Monday’s matchup against Uruguay meaningless because six points would have advanced the U.S. to the knockout stage. 

The match against Panama turned chippy, and it started with Weah. 

The veteran U.S. forward was issued a red card in the 18th minute after shoving a Panamanian player in the back of the head, resulting in an automatic ejection. 

Though he was initially given a yellow card, a referee pocketed the yellow and took out the red with Weah already walking off the field. From there, the USMNT was down a player, and Panama took advantage. 

USMNT’S TIMOTHY WEAH ISSUED RED CARD AFTER STRIKING PANAMA PLAYER IN HEAD

The U.S. got on the board first when Folarin Balogun scored his second goal of this Copa América tournament with a left boot off the right post in the 22nd minute. But Panama answered four minutes later, when Cesar Blackman scored his first career international goal with a left-footed drive past the reach of keeper Matt Turner. 

Turner eventually took a seat on the USMNT bench after a nasty collision in the first half resulted in a leg injury. Turner finished the first half, but Ethan Horvath replaced him in the second. 

Panama soccer

Panama used its one-man man advantage to send a constant attack at the U.S. Defense was key, and the U.S. switched to a five-man backfield with three midfielders and one forward. But Panama finally broke through with some patience in the 83rd minute. 

After Ricardo Pepi failed to convert a Weston McKennie cross one minute earlier to give the U.S. a lead, Panama’s José Fajardo redirected a pinball cross past Horvath, and Panama’s bench rushed the field to celebrate the score. 

With the U.S. entering desperation mode, the game turned ugly. Panama’s Adalberto Carrasquilla was issued a red card after sweeping Christian Pulisic’s legs, which led to a bit of a scuffle. 

With the sides even at 10 players, the U.S. had a few set pieces to work with, but it failed to convert. 

Weston McKennie looks on field

When the final whistle blew, Panama had won its third match over the U.S. in its history. 

The U.S. now heads into Monday’s match against Uruguay, the winner of 15 Copa América tournaments, needing a victory to make it out of the group stage. 

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