Despite playing the final 72 minutes of the match with a man-advantage, the United States dropped a 1-0 Group B decision to Panama in the opening game for both teams at the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in Tibas, Costa Rica Saturday.
Leandro Ávila’s deflected effort in the 37th minute turned out to be the lone goal of the match at Estadio Saprissa.
Panama’s Justin Simons was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on the Red Bulls’ Tyler Adams in the 18th minute, giving the Americans a man up for the rest of the game.
Adams was replaced by Emmanuel Sabbi in the 31st minute.
New York City FC rookie forward Jonathan Lewis, who was a possible substitute, did not get off the bench.
Going against the run of play, Panama got on the board towards the end of the first half when Ronaldo Córdoba swung a looping ball into the box for Ávila. The forward took it down with his knee before cutting back inside and curling an effort that took a slight deflection off USA defender Marlon Fossey and into the top right corner past goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann.
The USA pushed things early on in the second half when Jeremy Ebobisse’s header clanged off the crossbar in the 48th minute.
With Panama content to pack the area in defense of its 1-0 lead, the Americans found it hard to break through, but came close again when a Justen Glad laser was pushed out for a corner kick in the 82nd minute before goalkeeper Charles Taylor smothered Ebobisse’s 88th minute effort on the goal line to preserve the result.
The Americans face a must-win situation against Haiti, on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Estadio Nacional in San Jose Tuesday Feb. 21 (5:30 p.m. ET; UDN. Haiti defeated St. Kitts and Nevis, 5-1, in Saturday’s first Group B Match.
PAN – Leandro Ávila (Ronaldo Córdoba) 37th minute
USA: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann; 2-Marlon Fossey, 4-Tommy Redding (7-Eryk Williamson, 69), 6-Justen Glad, 3-Danny Acosta; 17-Brooks Lennon, 5-Erik Palmer-Brown (Capt.), 10-Luca De La Torre (19-Coy Craft, 69), 11-Sebastian Saucedo; 9-Jeremy Ebobisse, 8-Tyler Adams (18-Emmanuel Sabbi, 31)
Subs not used: 12-JT Marcinkowski, 13-Auston Trusty, 14-Aaron Herrera, 15-Jonathan Gonzalez, 16-Jeremiah Gutjahr, 20-Jonathan Lewis
Head coach: Tab Ramos
PAN: 12-Charles Taylor; 20-Josue Vergara (13-Jorge Gutiérrez, 90+3), 6-Javier Rivera (Capt.), 2-Jiovany Ramos, 3-Andrés Andrade; 11-Justin Simons, 5-Ricardo Ávila, 14-José Tejada, 17-Leandro Ávila (18-Isidoro Hinestroza, 79); 8-Cristian Martínez (16-Yair Jaen, 72), 9-Ronaldo Córdoba
Subs not used: 1-Aldo Ciel, 7-Chamell Asprilla, 10-Andrés Peñalba, 19-Oliver Beckles
Head coach: Nelson Gallego
Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 9 / 10
Shots on Goal: 2 / 2
Saves: 1 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 5
Fouls: 22 / 16
Offside: 2 / 1
PAN – Justin Simons (sent off) 18th minute
USA – Luca de la Torre (caution) 41
PAN – Cristian Martínez (caution) 45+1
USA – Sebastian Saucedo (caution) 74
Referee: Armando Castro (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Melvin Cruz (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Geovany Garcia (SLV)
4th Official: Melvin Matamoros (HON)