Chucky Lozano Suffers Horrifying Head Injury — Oblivious Ref Lets Play Continue

Chucky Lozano had to be taken off the field on a stretcher after crashing into the opposing keeper.

Chucky Lozano was carted off on a stretcher early in Mexico’s Gold Cup opener against Trinidad and Tobago. Replays showed a horrific collision between Lozano and Trinidad keeper Marvin Phillip, leaving the Mexican winger face down, bloodied and motionless. The oblivious referee allowed play to continue, and El Tri players seemed more interested in getting a PK out of the collision than tending to their motionless teammate.

The Chucky Lozano injury was one of the more graphic injuries soccer has seen this summer. As scary as Christian Eriksen’s collapse was against Finland in Euro 2020, there was a gruesome level of contact between Lozano’s head/neck and Phillip’s legs after Chucky was shoved into the keeper from behind. 

The incident occurred in the 10th minute, and for good reason there are no official replays available at the moment. You can click here or here to see replays for as long as they stay up but be warned it is hard to watch. 

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Initially after the injury, Rogelio Funes Mori tended to Lozano and motioned for help from the medical staff. But the referee Ricardo Montero of Costa Rica allowed play to continue, and Héctor Herrera nearly scored, hitting the post from long range before Phillip deflected the ball out of bounds. Soon, almost the entire Mexico team surrounded the ref, presumably asking for a red card for Phillip or a penalty kick.

Certainly, El Tri players have a point. Lozano was pushed by Alvin Jones then clobbered by Phillip. Somewhere in there had to be a foul, though I’m not sure you could give a red card to either. Plus, the referee should have immediately blown the whistle for Lozano to receive medical attention after the scary head injury.

Lozano was eventually moved onto a stretcher and taken off the field after a lengthy delay with a massive gash on his left eye. Lozano was reportedly taken to a nearby hospital and there were seven minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half.

It was a terrifying injury and we hope for the best for the Napoli winger. We also wonder if Mexico players could have — or should have — done more to tend to him instead of arguing with the ref, who was apparently oblivious to everything.

After Eriksen collapsed at Euro 2020, Denmark captain Simon Kjær was praised for the way he raced across the field to tend to Eriksen, stabilizing him on his side, clearing his airways and starting CPR before the medical staff arrived. Perhaps Mexico players saw Lozano was OK, but at this point it’s hard to say considering Chucky was carted off on a stretcher, remaining mostly motionless. 

The match went to halftime tied 0-0, with fans and players no doubt holding Lozano in the back of their minds. Despite controlling 82 percent of possession, outshooting Trinidad 30-4 and taking 15 corner kicks, Mexico was unable to score as the match finished 0-0.

As a bizarre side effect to the Chucky Lozano injury, Efraín Álvarez replaced him on the pitch, becoming cap-tied to Mexico after having played for both El Tri and the USMNT at the youth levels. 

UPDATE: Chucky Lozano was taken to the hospital and was stable and conscious Saturday night.

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