Group A, Day 1: One big victory and two dramatic comeback draws wrap up day one.
By Jorge Belon, Managing Editor
A total of three games were played on Friday as the 2015 CONCACAF Championship kicked off in Jamaica and the road to qualify to the 2015 Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand became one step closer.
All six nations from group A were involved today and a combination of 10 goals was scored between the nations, which made the opener an exciting one.
Game 1) Panama 4-0 Aruba
Goal scorers: Ismael Diaz De Leon 18th & 51st minute, Ervin Zorrilla Perez 30th minute and Edson Samms Record 36th minute.
The Panamanians had complete control of the match from the first minute and by halftime held a 3-0 lead. The Central Americans continued their dominance over Aruba in the second half as they scored their fourth goal. Panama’s offense took 15 shots and their defense kept the Caribbean nation at bay by only allowing two shots in 90 minutes.
Highlights for the match are provided by CONCACAF, http://youtu.be/IKLQayVRqSw.
Panama will face the United States on Sunday at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica as they attempt to control their fate of winning the group and directly advancing to the World Cup. Aruba will need to rebound against Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday as well at the same location.
Game 2) United States 1-1 Guatemala
Goal scorers: Cameron Carter-Vickers 59th minute (USA) and Andy Ruiz 89th minute (Guatemala)
This match produced the first upset of the tournament with the stingy Guatemalan side not giving up and Ruiz‘ world-class goal tying the match with less than a minute left. Regardless, of the Americans dominating the match by taking 15 shots–to Guatemala’s seven– the three points still eluded the Yanks and now they must rebound.
Highlights for the match are provided by CONCACAF and US Soccer, http://youtu.be/5HyIOeBkCZ0.
The Americans will be looking to get their first victory of the tournament on Sunday when they face current group leaders Panama at the National Stadium. As for Guatemala, they will be facing host-nation Jamaica on Sunday at the same location. They will need to put this positive result behind them quickly or else they could be in trouble.
Game 3) Jamaica 2-2 Trinidad & Tobago
Goal scorers: Aikin Andrews 7th minute (T&T), Kadeen Corbin 15th minute (T&T), Donja Smith 68th minute (Jamaica) & Junior Flemmings 90+ 4th minute (Jamaica)
The host nation barely escaped a devastating opening defeat to the Soca Warriors, as they found themselves down 2-0 at the start of the second half. In the late stages of the second , the Reggae Boyz finally completed the 2-2 comeback with a pin-point accurate free kick from Flemmings which sent the National Stadium into a ruckus.
Highlights for this match are provided by CONCACAF, http://youtu.be/1JflAfCSsxY
Next match: The host nation will be facing Guatemala on Sunday in the National Stadium again, and will be searching for their first victory of the group stages to keep pace or possibly overlap group leaders Panama. As for the Soca Warriors they will be facing shell-shocked Aruba on Sunday and at the same location.
Tomorrow games: Group B will kick off with defending champions Mexico taking on Cuba, followed by a Central American rivalry match between Honduras and El Salvador and lastly, Haiti facing Canada. All three matches will be played at the Montego Bay Sports Complex at Montego Bay, Jamaica.