Panama tops Saudi Arabia to close out Group E at Under-20 World Cup
Panama defeated Saudi Arabia 2-1 to secure the first FIFA U-20 World Cup finals victory in the country's history on May 31, 2019, at the Bydgoszcz Stadium in Bydgoszcz, Poland. (Photo courtesy of FIFA)

BYDGOSZCZ, Poland – Panama wrapped up its Group E campaign at the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in grand style with a 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia on Friday evening at the Bydgoszcz Stadium in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

Panama got off to a dream start by taking a 1-0 lead in the 7’. A nice build-up from the Panamanian attack was finished off by Axel McKenzie, who collected a cross from Ernesto Walker and struck for the goal.

The Canalero defense stayed strong the remainder of the first half and took the lead into halftime, however Saudi Arabia was able to pull level thanks to a stellar strike from Feras Albrikan.

The Saudi Arabia FW received a pass from the right flank and volleyed in a shot to make it 1-1.

Panama was undaunted and regained the lead in the 78’ thanks to the heads-up play of Diego Valanta, who pounced on the rebound of a blocked shot and fired into goal to give Panama a 2-1 lead.

From there, the Panama defense once again took over and kept Saudi Arabia at bay to collect the three points and finish the group stage with a 1W-1D-1L record.