30.05.2015 11:25 h

Panama match Correa double for Argentina

Panama held Argentina to a shock 2-2 draw on the opening day of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup Saturday, as the tournament began against a backdrop of turmoil in football's governing body.

Hosts New Zealand drew 0-0 with Ukraine and the United States beat Myanmar 2-1, while Ghana and Austria drew 1-1 to complete the first day's matches.

Absent from the tournament was organising committee chairman and FIFA vice-president Jeffrey Webb who was among seven people arrested in a corruption scandal that has rocked the sport.

FIFA boss Sepp Blatter, who refused to step down in the wake of the crisis, has since been re-elected president and is expected in New Zealand for the knockout rounds of the tournament.

Argentina, heavily favoured to win the Under-20 crown for a record seventh time opened with a flourish when their marquee player Angel Correa put them 1-0 up in the 14th minute against Panama.

The Atletico Madrid forward latched on to a cross by Tomas Martinez and slammed the ball into the back of the net from eight metres (yards) away.

But Panama equalised minutes later when Jhamal Rodriguez swooped on the ball and fired it home from 25 metres.

The game remained locked at 1-1 until the 79th minute when Correa cashed in on a goalkeeper error to punish Panama with his second goal.

But again it was a short-lived lead as Fidel Escobar equalised for Panama when he hammered a Carlos Small cross into the back of the net.

Hosts New Zealand, meanwhile, kicked off the World Cup with a goalless draw against Ukraine before a sell-out crowd of 25,000, a record turnout for a FIFA match in the country.

Ukraine dominated in the first half when Artem Biesiedin twice got close, but was kept out by some smart work from New Zealand keeper Oli Sail on the first attempt and Biesiedin was wayward with the second.

In a more open second period it was New Zealand's turn to waste scoring chances when a Clayton Lewis shot went over the bar and late in the game Sam Brotherton headed inexplicably wide from inside the six-yard box.

New Zealand will next play the United States who opened their campaign by coming from a goal down to beat Myanmar 2-1.

Myanmar opened strongly with Yan Naing Oo scoring in the ninth minute, but goals to Maki Tall and captain Emerson Hyndman on either side of half-time allowed the United States to take maximum points.

Austria were on track to start with a victory when they led Ghana 1-0 going into extra time after a 50th minute goal from Bernd Gschweidl.

However, they were forced to settle for a draw when Yaw Yeboah equalised from the penalty spot.