Gabriel Torres scored twice at the Rose Bowl on Sunday to see Panama open its Gold Cup slate with an impressive 2-1 victory over Mexico.
The Panamanians struck early when they were awarded a penalty kick in the seventh minute as Torres converted the ensuing attempt.
Marco Fabian de la Mora pulled Mexico level with a goal just before halftime, but Panama wasted little time in restoring its lead on the opposite side of halftime as Torres turned in a low cross to the near post in the 48th minute.
Panama staved off a great deal of pressure from the Mexicans for the remainder of the half, slowing the game down at every opportunity to come away from its tournament opener with all three points.
In Sunday's other Group A fixture, Canada was on the wrong end of shocking upset as Fabrice Reuperne's shot from distance deep into second-half stoppage time was enough to see Martinique come away with a 1-0 victory at the Rose Bowl.
The results see Martinique and Panama top the group on three points apiece. Group A action resumes Thursday with the two nations squaring off at CenturyLink Field before Canada takes on Mexico in a crucial tie.