— Selección Mexicana (@miseleccionmx) January 25, 2015
Mexico defeated Panama 4-2 on penalty kicks to crown themselves as winners of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship tournament. Despite both teams having already qualified to the U-20 World Cup, it was a thrilling game from start to finish.
Both teams turned on the style early, and three minutes from the start, Velarde was first to give a warning for Panama when his shot went centimeters wide from the far post.
In the 8th minute, Mexico went close to its first goal when Guillermo Martinez hit the woodwork from inside the box.
The opening goal finally arrived four minutes into the second half when Guillermo Martinez headed down a corner for Bernal. The Mexican defender found himself unmarked to head in the first goal of the match. It was also the first goal Panama conceded all tournament.
In the 55th minute, Ismael Diaz eased his way past a defender and dragged a shot at goal before the Mexican goalkeeper made a good save.
Moments later, Fidel Escobar sent a half-volley into the crossbar to nearly equalize for Los Canaleros.
Almost immediately, Ramirez skipped his way past two defenders and missed the opportunity to double Mexico’s lead.
In the 72nd minute, Ismael Diaz was felled inside the box. Escobar converted the subsequent penalty to equalize the score.
It was an exhilarating affair to the very end, and both teams had chances to break the deadlock before the shootout.
But once on penalty kicks, FC Dallas goalkeeper, Jesse Gonzalez, made two great saves as Mexico earned their third title in U-20 CONCACAF tournaments.