Panama tops nine-man T&T, stays first in Group A

Michael Murillo (#4) scored the only goal in Panama's 1-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago in the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship on January 18, 2015, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. (Photo: Mexsport)

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Panama (4-0-0, 12 points) continued its perfect run in the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, defeating nine-man Trinidad & Tobago (1-1-2, 4 points) 1-0 on Sunday at the Montego Bay Sports Complex. 

The victory keeps the Panamanians atop the Group A table with maximum points from four games and it can qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup if Guatemala (2-1-0, 7 points) fails to beat Aruba (0-0-3, 0 points) later in the evening. 

Michael Murillo scored the game’s only goal in the 78th minute.  The 18-year-old defender appeared to be delivering a cross from the right, but rather than swerve away from the goal, it headed for the near post.  Goalkeeper Johan Welch made a desperate attempt to reach the ball, only to palm it into the net. 

The goal came seven minutes after Trinidad had been reduced a second player.  Akeem Humphrey was shown a red card in the 71st minute for elbowing Edson Samms in the face, while both were competing for possession in the Trinidadian end. 

Earlier, Kadeem Corbin was sent to the locker room after receiving his second yellow card for a hard foul on Chin Hormechea in the 23rd minute.

Though Panama may not have been as active as it was in the three games played in Kingston, it did attempt 14 shots.  Many of those, however, were from long distance. 

Panama returns to action on Wednesday in a potential group-deciding encounter against Guatemala, while Trinidad will attempt to bounce back against the United States. 

NOTES: Panama has yet to concede a goal in four CONCACAF Under-20 Championship games … Of the six goals Trinidad & Tobago has conceded in the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, five have been allowed after the 68th minute.