Under the guidance of head coach Albert Roca (pictured), El Salvador will play its fifth 2014 FIFA World Cup participant this year on October 14, 2014, when it meets Ecuador at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)
HARRISON, New Jersey – Despite a 3-0 loss to Colombia in an international friendly on Friday at Red Bull Arena, El Salvador head coach Albert Roca took away many positives from his team’s performance.
The Spaniard was particularly pleased by his team’s ability to confront the 2014 World Cup quarterfinalists and not shy away from the action.
“Losing to Colombia is not a surprise, it is the third-ranked national team in the world and I feel that we have given a battle tonight,” Roca said after the match. ”But it is not easy to recover from our errors. We cannot gift goals to a national team like Colombia, but beyond those mistakes I leave satisfied with the attitude shown by many.”
Roca emphasized the importance of building on experiences from playing high-level teams and staying on course. Since handing the managerial reins to the former Barcelona assistant, El Salvador has played four 2014 World Cup sides – Colombia, Honduras, Ivory Coast and Spain – and qualified for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup by finishing fourth in last month’s Central American Cup.
“We should keep working, looking for a way to be consistent in the larger parts of matches,” Roca stressed. “We keep suffering with our finishing, but that is not the only problem. We should strengthen ourselves mentally in order to recover from things that happen in football. It is not easy to recover after allowing an opponent to score two goals on you in less than three minutes.”
Next for El Salvador is an encounter on Tuesday against Ecuador, another World Cup participant, also at Red Bull Arena. The player evaluation process will continue for Roca.
“Many players stood out, but I cannot single anyone out,” he finished. “That is because we compete with ourselves in private to see where we are strong and where we fail, but we have time to analyze it before the Ecuador match.”