Wednesday, July 28, 2021

United States 6-2 Panama: Reyna, Gioacchini and Soto off the mark in emphatic win

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Nov 2020


Giovanni Reyna was one of three United States players to score their maiden international goals in Monday’s 6-2 friendly victory over Panama.

USA played out a goalless draw with Wales in their first game for nine months last Thursday but had no trouble converting their chances at Stadion Wiener Neustadt.

Fielding their second-youngest starting XI ever at 22 years and 154 days old on average, made up entirely of European-based players, Gregg Berhalter’s charges got off to a slow start as Jose Fajardo glanced in the opener from Panama’s only on-target attempt of the first half.

Reyna, making his second appearance just three days after his 18th birthday, levelled up with what was also his side’s first direct free-kick goal since Jozy Altidore netted against Jamaica in the 2017 Gold Cup.

Nicholas Gioacchini was next to get off the mark for USA on his full debut with a tap-in after Ulysses Llanez’s shot was parried into his path.

He had his second of the game four minutes later with a header inside the six-yard box, making him the fifth different USA player to score multiple goals in their past seven matches. 

Gioacchini squandered a chance to complete his hat-trick when his spot-kick was saved by Orlando Mosquera and Fajardo then appeared to set up a nervy finale when powering a shot past Zack Steffen 11 minutes from time.

Sebastian Soto killed off any hopes of a comeback with a goal five minutes and 46 seconds after being introduced for his debut and he doubled his personal tally in added time, scoring his brace either side of Sebastian Lletget’s strike.


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