International Friendly: USA Hammer Panama 6-2 With Goals From Debutants

United States' Gio Reyna, right, and Panama's Michael Murillo compete for the ball during the international friendly soccer match between the USA and Panama at the SC Wiener Neustadt stadium in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

SAN FRANCISCO, November 17, (THEWILL) – Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna was one of three United States of America players to score their maiden international goals in the 6-2 friendly victory over Panama on Monday at the Hama Trucks Arena, Weiner Neustadt in Austria.

Against Wales last Thursday, in their first game after nine months, the USA played out a goalless draw but they were not firing blanks against Los Canaleros.

Although the USA fielded their second-youngest starting XI ever at just 22 years and 154 days old on average, the team was made up entirely of European-based players.

Coach Gregg Berhalter’s charges got off to a slow start and were quickly behind as Jose Fajardo glanced in the opener in the 8th minute from Panama’s only on-target attempt of the first half.

But, Reyna, in his second appearance just three days after his 18th birthday, levelled up in the 18th minute. His goal was the USA’s first direct free-kick goal since Toronto FC’s Jozy Altidore netted against Jamaica in the 2017 Gold Cup.

In the 22nd minute, Caen forward Nicholas Gioacchini got off the mark for USA on his full debut with a collected tap-in after 19-year-old Ulysses Llanez’s shot was parried into his path.

Four minutes later, and Gioacchini had his second of the game. It was a header this time from a Matt Miazga assist header following a corner. His brace meant that five different USA players have scored multiple goals in the team’s past seven matches.

When the chance for a hattrick came however, Gioacchini was found wanting. He took the spot kick awarded to the USA for an Oscar Linton handball in the area. But, his right-footed kick was saved by Orlando Mosquera in the centre of the goal.

Then, Fajardo set up a nervy finale when, in the 78th minute, he received a through ball from Omar Brown and powered a shot past Zack Steffen in goal for the USA for his brace.

However, 20-year-old Sebastian Soto killed off any hopes of a Panama comeback with a goal five minutes and 46 seconds after being introduced for his debut. Then, after another substitute Sebastian Lletget’s headed goal in the 86th minute, Soto doubled his personal tally in added time, heading in from the six-yard box from a Richard Ledezma cross.