The semifinals of the Concacaf Nations League between Mexico and the United States became a high-tension game when a self-absorbed Aztec team couldn't deal with frustration of the rout and turned the game into a front on the screen. Kicks came and went and it was Guillermo Ochoa, acting as captain and absolute leader who tried to calm down by separating his companions.
At minute 85, with the game totally lost and with one less player on each side (Cesar Montes and Weston McKennie), Sergino Dest and Edson Alvarez lost their roles in a sideline kick and got involved in a succession of shoves that it saw almost all the elements present on the field involved.
With the duel completely out of control, the whistling Salvadoran Iván Barton began a festival of warnings. The first of them was Alvarez and, later, the red came to Gerardo Arteaga and Dest.
In the midst of all the lack of control, Memo Ochoa tried to avoid greater evils and he contained his companions one by one, removing them from the revolt. The captain was far from being involved in the conflict, but this did not matter to the referee, who showed him the yellow card.
The intensity of the players inside the field. In the first time the USMNT committed 10 fouls and El Tri 12, but only Uriel Antuna ended up being booked for a foul on Gio Reyna.
In the second half, at 57′ Antuna gave Reyna a small nudge and despite being reprimanded, the referee did not send him off. Minutes later, the Borussia Dortmund figurehead was fouled again and raged before the main judge.
All of this created the feeling that there would be violence at any moment. At 61′ Balogun ironed César Montes and the action would be a turning point, since eight minutes later the play that ended the tense peace would come.
The Espanyol defender's revenge came with a strong kick to the Reims attacker. Barton showed the direct red and with heated spirits and small attempts to fight, Weston McKennie, who ended up with a torn shirt, paid the consequences with another expulsion.
Another controversial play was when Ricardo Pepi scored the third goal from the stars and stripes, but Barton and the line assistants needed help from the VAR. The match ended 3-0 in favor of the Americans, 17 fouls per side, nine yellow cards and four red cards. It is not the first time that the Central American has had a performance that puts him in the spotlight.
After the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where he had a great performance, the Salvadoran was questioned about the way he refereed the first leg of the Concacaf Champions League final between Club Leon and LAFC.