Action from the UNCAF under-20 qualifier between Honduras and Belize (red jersey) on July 25, 2014, at the Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador., El Salvador.
SAN TECLA, El Salvador – Panama maintained its perfect record and became the first Central American side clinch a place at the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, posting a 3-0 win over Guatemala in the Central American Football Union (UNCAF) qualifying tournament on Friday.
For complete schedule, results, table and scorers, click here.
In addition to earning a ticket to Jamaica next January, the Panamanians also secured a berth in the 2015 Pan American Games.
Here’s a recap of the tripleheader action at the Estadio Cuscatlan:
Honduras 5, Belize 0
In the opener, surging Honduras (8 points) won its second straight game and posted its third consecutive shutout, topping Belize (0 points), 5-0.
Bryan Rochez (65’, 74’ pen) netted twice in the second-half, while Junior Lacayo (42’) and Rolin Alvarez (45’) staked the Catrachos to a 2-0 just before the break. Fredy Medina (71’) had made it 4-0 with his second goal of the competition.
The Hondurans will be guaranteed one of the four qualifying spots with a win against Nicaragua on July 29, but can also progress earlier, depending on results of matches two days before. Belize has been eliminated from contention with two games left on its schedule.
Panama 3, Guatemala 0
Panama (15 points) clinched first-place with a game to spare thanks to its fifth victory in as many outings, blanking Guatemala (4 points), 3-0.
Jhamal Rodriguez (8’), Ervin Zorrilla (67’) and Jesus Gonzalez (85’) each scored their first goals of the competition in a winning effort.
While the Panamanians registered a third clean sheet in their last four matches, Guatemala has stumbled somewhat of late.
The Chapines have dropped two straight decisions after going unbeaten in their first two encounters. They will complete play against Nicaragua (July 27) and Belize (July 29), the table’s bottom two teams.
El Salvador 7, Nicaragua 1
Host El Salvador (8 points) stepped closer to a place at the CONCACAF event, taking all three points in a 7-1 win over Nicaragua (3 points).
Denis Pineda (28’, 46’) and Romilio Hernandez (34’, 44’) helped propel the host to victory with a pair of goals each, while Bryan Perez (13’ pen), Bryan Landaverde (71’) and Ronald Ventura (78’) contributed single tallies. Yaser Ortiz (37’) prevented Nicaragua from being shutout in a second straight game.
The Salvadorans, who currently occupy second place on goal difference over Honduras, can guarantee themselves a spot in Jamaica with a win over either Panama (July 27) or Costa Rica (July 29)