Ecuador’s Kendry Paez becomes youngest goalscorer in Copa America 2024

It was a memorable night for 17-year-old Kendry Paez after he converted a penalty to give Ecuador a 2-0 lead against Jamaica in their Copa America 2024 Group B match.

With the goal, Paez became the youngest goalscorer in this edition of the Copa America.

Félix Torres’ header inside the Jamaica box struck the outstretched hand of Greg Leigh, and the referee gave a penalty after a lengthy VAR check.

Paez stood over the ball and found the net with a grounded finish.

Playing his club football at Independiente del Valle, it was announced on June 5, 2023, that Paez would join Premier League club Chelsea after his 18th birthday in the summer of 2025.

FOLLOW: LIVE updates from Ecuador vs Jamaica, Copa America 2024

Paez was called up to the Ecuador senior squad for the first time on the same day.

On September 12, 2023, Paez debuted with the senior team, starting in a 2–1 World Cup qualifier win over Uruguay and assisting Felix Torres’ match-winning goal. With that, he became the youngest player ever to represent La Tri and the second youngest South American to play international football behind Diego Maradona.

On October 12, he scored his first goal for Ecuador in a 2–1 win over Bolivia, becoming the youngest-ever goalscorer in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers at 16 years and 161 days.

The youngest goalscorer ever in Copa America history is Colombia’s Johnnier Montano, who was 16 years 171 days old when he scored a goal during a match against Argentina at Estadio Feliciano Cáceres, in Luque, Paraguay on July 4, 1999.

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