McKenzie fires Panama past El Salvador at CU20
Axel McKenzie (#18) of Panama celebrates after scoring the winning goal against El Salvador in a Group H match of the qualifying phase of the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida on November 13, 2018.

BRADENTON, Florida – The Qualification Stage of the 2018 Concacaf Under-20 Championship got off to a great start for Panama, who down El Salvador 1-0 on Tuesday to open Group G.

Axel McKenzie was the hero for the Canaleros, as he came off the bench in the second half and scored the game’s lone goal to give Panama a vital three points.

Panama controlled things in the first half but was unable to breach the goal of El Salvador’s excellent GK Rodrigo Artiga.

The Cuscatlecos’ stopper made four massive saves in the first 45 minutes to keep things scoreless.

The breakthrough for Panama would finally come in the 73’, as McKenzie, who had been on the field just four minutes after replacing Angel Orelien, collected a ball on the left side of the area and swept in a right-footed shot that sneaked just inside the far post.

The Panama defense would take over from there, turning away any and all El Salvador’s chances for an equalizer to seal the victory.

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Panama v El Salvador
Panama v El Salvador, November 13, 2018.
Panama v El Salvador
Panama v El Salvador, November 13, 2018.
Panama v El Salvador
Panama v El Salvador, November 13, 2018.
Panama v El Salvador
Panama v El Salvador, November 13, 2018.
Panama v El Salvador
Panama v El Salvador, November 13, 2018.
Panama v El Salvador
Panama v El Salvador, November 13, 2018.
Panama v El Salvador
Panama v El Salvador, November 13, 2018.
Panama v El Salvador
Panama v El Salvador, November 13, 2018.
Panama v El Salvador
Panama v El Salvador, November 13, 2018.
Panama v El Salvador
Panama v El Salvador, November 13, 2018.
Panama v El Salvador
Panama v El Salvador, November 13, 2018.
Panama v El Salvador
Panama v El Salvador, November 13, 2018.
Panama 1 - 0 El Salvador