• Tuesday Feb 16, 2016

    Tuesday’s CWOQ stakes differ for Guatemala, Guyana

    Action from the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship match between Guatemala (white jersey) and Guyana on February 14, 2016, in Houston, Texas. (Photo: Mexsport)

    HOUSTON -- It was a familiar story for Guatemala on Sunday in its second game at the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.

    As was the same against Trinidad & Tobago a few days earlier, the Chapinas took a 1-0 lead on Guyana, only to concede twice during a five-minute stretch in the second half and fall 2-1. All four goals allowed were scored between the 71st and 79th minutes.

    “Physically, at the end of the game, we go down and we’re paying that price,” said head coach Benjamin Monterroso. “We do not have enough physical preparation before coming here.”

    Heading into the tournament, the Guatemalans were optimistic about their prospects of advancing to the semifinals. After all, they fell narrowly to powerful Costa Rica, 2-1, in Central American qualifying, and were drawn to face Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana – two sides that had never advanced past the CWOQ group stage (Guyana is making its first appearance in the tournament)

    That’s why the Group B finale on Tuesday against first-place Canada (2W0D-0L, 6 points) is somewhat bittersweet for Monterroso.

    “All we have left to do is play a good match against Canada,” he remarked. “Obviously, we came with other expectations. There were mistakes made. We didn’t play as we wanted to.”

    Guyana, meanwhile, is riding high, knowing it needs only a draw against T&T on Tuesday to seal a semifinal berth. The sides are level on three points each, but the Guyanese have the better goal difference (-4 to -5).

    The Lady Jags clearly took advantage of the lessons learned from a 5-0 loss to Canada in their opener. Even after falling behind to Guatemala, the team maintained its defensive shape and organization, demonstrating an impressive level of fitness. Goals by Mariam El-Masri and Ashley Heydorn highlighted the comeback effort.

    “We’ve advance the legacy and the history of the Lady Jags,” said Guyana head coach Mark Rodrigues. “Regardless of what happens on Tuesday, we’re already winners. But Tuesday we’re going to be coming with a different game plan and definitely will be going with all our heart.”

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