Guatemala's Jose Andres Ruiz (left) tries to dribble past Juan Pablo Vargas of Costa Rica during their UNCAF under-20 qualifier at the Estadio Cuscatlan on July 17, 2014, in San Salvador, El Salvador.
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Panama scored a dramatic late winner to defeat Honduras in a high-scoring affair as Central American qualifying for the next CONCACAF Under-20 Championship kicked off Thursday with a triple-header at the Estadio Cuscatlan.
Here’s a recap of the day’s games:
Guatemala 1, Costa Rica 0
In the opener, Diego Palma (12’) scored the only goal as Guatemala topped Costa Rica, 1-0.
Honduras 3, Panama 4
Ismael Diaz’s goal in the first minute of second-half stoppage time broke a 3-3 deadlock as the Canaleros rallied for a victory over 10-man Honduras in the day’s second match.
After an early own-goal by Luis Santos (6’) gave Panama a 1-0 lead, Honduras responded swiftly through Rembrandt Flores (16’) and Alberth Elis (20’) to go ahead, 2-1.
The Catrachos went down a man in 35th minute, when Brayan Velazquez was shown a straight red card for kicking a Panamanian player.
Chin Hormecha (51’) capitalized on the superiority in manpower, leveling for Panama five minutes after the break and Fidel Escobar (63’) put it ahead with a free kick.
Honduras equalized thanks to Fredy Medina with five minutes left in normal time, but Diaz had the final word.
El Salvador 6, Belize 0
Second-half substitute Josue Hernandez scored two goals and El Salvador posted a 6-0 win over Belize.
The host jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the interval. Juan Barahona (3’) converted from the penalty spot, while Roberto Hernandez (44’) struck off a corner kick.
In the second half, Hernandez’s brace (78’, 89’) were bookended by Bryan Perez (62’) and Bryan Tamacas (90’+2).