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Fiery soccer game between US and Mexico ends early amid homophobic chants

<i>Lucas Peltier/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters</i><br/>USA defender Sergino Dest shoves Mexico defender Gerardo Arteaga (6) during the second half at Allegiant Stadium.
Lucas Peltier/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
USA defender Sergino Dest shoves Mexico defender Gerardo Arteaga (6) during the second half at Allegiant Stadium.

By Jill Martin, CNN

(CNN) — The US Men’s National Team dominated Mexico in a 3-0 win Thursday in front of a sellout crowd of 65,000 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

But this Concacaf Nations League semifinal – marred by dirty tackles, pushing and shoving and even a torn jersey – ended in ugly fashion.

The teams combined for 13 cards, including 12 in the second half. Two players on each team were sent off.

In the 90th minute, the referee paused the match because of homophobic chanting. Twelve minutes of stoppage time was added, but the referee opted to end the game around four minutes early amid the discriminatory chants from the crowd.

After the game, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football, known for short as Concacaf, released a statement saying it “strong condemns the discriminatory chanting by some fans” during the match.

“Chants heard during the game led to the activation of the anti-discrimination protocol by the match officials. Additionally, security staff ejected several fans for engaging in unacceptable behavior in the stadium,” the statement said.

“These incidents were extremely disappointing and tarnished what should have been a positive occasion to showcase high quality football in our region.

“The Confederation is in the process of urgently establishing further details and reports from security and match officials and will make a further statement in short order.”

CNN has reached out to the USMNT and Mexican federation for comment.

FIFA has previously fined the Mexican Football Federation for homophobic chants made by the country’s fans.

The US and Mexico, along with Canada, are set to co-host the FIFA men’s World Cup in 2026.

Captain Christian Pulisic scored for the US either side of halftime, before Ricardo Pepi completed the victory.

Tempers flared just before the 70-minute mark as Mexico’s César Montes aggressively kicked out at Folarin Balogun, resulting in a red card, before Weston McKennie – who had his shirt torn in the ensuing scuffle – was also sent off for his role in the melee.

Fifteen minutes later, Mexico defender Gerardo Arteaga and USMNT star Sergiño Dest were both shown straight red cards for pushing each other during another altercation between the two teams.

The USMNT will now face Canada in the Concacaf Nations League final on Sunday.

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