FIFA Under-20 World Cup: Panama 1-1 Mali + other results
Panama delivered a late penalty on Saturday at the FIFA Under -20 World cup through Diego Valanta to secure a 1-1 draw against Mali in the opening match of Group E.
African champions Mali looked the more dangerous of the sides in the first half, with Mohamed Camara and Lassana N’Diaye posing a considerable threat through the middle.
Panama keeper Marcos Allen made a point-blank save from N’Diaye in the 18th minute, but there was nothing he could do about Boubacar Konte’s strike 20 minutes later.
Konte dribbled in from the left wing before unleashing a fiercely-driven low shot past helpless Marcos Allen to give the Eagles the lead at the break.
Mohamed Camara struck the crossbar midway through the second half but Mali failed to double their advantage and that proved costly.
Abdoulaye Diaby fouled Panama left-back Guillermo Benitez just inside the penalty area in the 85th minute and Valanta successfully converted the resulting spot-kick to bring Panama their fourth draw in 16 U-20 World Cup matches.
The teams return to action on Tuesday, when Panama face France while Saudi Arabia take on Mali.
In another match, France opened their Group E campaign at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland with a 2-0 win against Saudi Arabia.
It was a tight match until a red card for Faraj Abdullah Al Ghashayan saw France take a firm grip on proceedings.
Just as the match was starting to take shape, a heavy foul was committed on France’s Boubakary Soumare and after a review by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), Faraj Abdullah Al Ghashayan was issued a red card.
France capitalised on the situation with goals from Youssouf Fofana and Amine Gouiri against the 10-man Saudi Arabia.
Gouiri scored in the second half to seal the match.
The teams return to action on Tuesday, when Panama face France and Saudi Arabia take on Mali
In another match, Portugal grind out a 1-0 victory against North Korea in their Group F opening match.
Trincao tore through the centre of the Korean defence to tuck in his side’s first goal of the tournament in the seventh minute.
The Portuguese nearly duplicated the feat 12 minutes later, with Trincao appearing to have secured a brace, but the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) ruled that Rafael Leao was offside in the build-up to the goal.
Korea Republic came out stronger in the second half.
Lee Kangin offered the first shot on target just before the hour mark from outside the box that was saved by Portugal goalkeeper Joao Virginia.
In the end Portugal continued their good form from the continental championships to set themselves up.
The teams return to action on Tuesday when Portugal face Argentina and South Africa take on Korea Republic.
The competition, which started on May 23, would end on June 15.