HOUSTON — Mexico and Panama played to a 1-1 tie in a Gold Cup match on Thursday night that ended in chaos after a confrontation between Mexican coach Javier Aguirre and a Panamanian player triggered fights between fans in the stands.
Tempers flared throughout the match and boiled over in the 80th minute.
Panama’s Ricardo Phillips dribbled out of bounds in front of the Mexico bench and when the linesman stopped play, Phillips shoved Aguirre.
Players converged in the area and several got into shoving matches. Referee Joel Aguilar ejected Aguirre and whipped out a red card to give to Phillips as fans littered the field with cups of beer and other objects.
Phillips was escorted off the field by a swarm of police — and pelted with beer as he ran into a tunnel — and after about 15 wild minutes, play resumed.
A fistfight then broke out between two fans in the front row across the field from the benches and Houston police officers moved in to separate them. Police handcuffed at least two fans in the area.
Miguel Sabah and Blas Perez scored the goals.
The draw means that both Canada and the U.S. have qualified for the quarter-finals.
In the night’s earlier game, Stephane Auvray and Ludovic Gotin scored goals one minute apart in the second half and Guadeloupe clinched a quarter-final berth with a 2-0 win over Nicaragua.