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UNCAF U-20: Panama on target in opening win
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Panama's Adalberto Carrasquilla (#8) tries to control the ball in a Central American U-20 qualifying match against Nicaragua on July 8, 2016, Panama City, Panama.

PANAMA CITY, Panama – Central American qualifying for the 2017 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship opened Friday with four of the five participating teams seeing action at the Estadio Maracana.

Honduras rallied from a two-goal deficit to force a 2-2 draw with Guatemala, while host Panama was impressive in a 6-0 win over Nicaragua as Leandro Avila struck for three goals.

CONCACAF.com takes a look at the action:

Honduras comeback In the tournament opener, Guatemala appeared to be on its way to a routine victory, taking a 2-0 lead over Honduras thanks to goals by Brolin Valdizon (6’) and Esteban Garcia (42’). The Catrachos, however, responded magnificently. Foslyn Grant, a veteran of the 2016 FIFA U-17 World Cup, halved the deficit in first-half stoppage time. Then, less than a minute after the break, Sendel Cruz netted the equalizer. Honduras’ Denil Maldonado was ejected in the 86th minute for a second caution.

Avila hat-trick powers Panama … After Cesar Blackman’s 36th minute goal gave Panama a 1-0 lead over Nicaragua heading into half-time, Leandro Avila (48’, 53’, 56’) exploded for three straight goals to start the second half. Isidoro Hinestroza (67’, 89’) netted a brace to complete the scoreline.

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2016 UNCAF UNDER-20 QUALIFYING

Estadio Maracana – El Chorrillo, Panama City, Panama

July 8–16, 2016

July 8, 2016

Guatemala 2, Honduras 2

Brolin Valdizon 6’; Esteban Garcia 42’ / Foslyn Grant 45’+1; Sendel Cruz 46’

Panama 6, Nicaragua 0

Cesar Blackman 36’; Leandro Avila 48’, 53’, 56’; Isidoro Hinestroza 67’, 89’

Panama 1-1-0-0-6-0-3

Guatemala 1-0-1-0-2-2-1

Honduras 1-0-1-0-2-2-1

El Salvador 0-0-0-0-0-0-0

Nicaragua 1-0-0-1-0-6-0

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July 10, 2016: Honduras v El Salvador; Panama v Guatemala

July 12, 2016: Nicaragua v Honduras; Guatemala v El Salvador

July 14, 2016: El Salvador v Nicaragua; Panama v Honduras

July 16, 2016: Nicaragua v Guatemala; Panama v El Salvador

 
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