Rafael Burgos (blue jersey) scored his sixth career Central American Cup goal on September 10, 2014, against Belize at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. (Photo: Mexsport)
HOUSTON – Rafael Burgos and Arturo Alvarez struck for second half goals to lift El Salvador to a 2-0 win over Belize in both teams’ final Group A match in the 2014 Central American Cup at BBVA Compass Stadium on Wednesday.
The win gave the Cuscatlecos six points from three matches, the same amount Guatemala accrued from its opening two. Guatemala will face Honduras (3 points) in the Group Stage’s finale later in the evening.
The group winner advances to the final, while the runner-up will compete in the third-place match and the third-place finisher in the match for fifth place. Each of those games will be played as part of a tripleheader on Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Burgos put El Salvador in front three minutes into the second half after being freed on goal by Alvarez’s through ball. The Minnesota United forward took two touches on a long run before beating Woodrow West low and inside the near post from 13 yards.
In the 69th minute, Alvarez put the game away when he finished a lengthy, ambitious run with a left-footed blast into the upper left corner of the net to give El Salvador a 2-0 lead.
The Salvadorans had two quality chances to score in the first half, but Burgos’ 16th minute effort from 14 yards was saved by West. The Belize goalkeeper also parried away an attempt by Alexander Larin from 10 yards in the 28th minute.
Just past the hour mark, Trevor Lennen nearly equalized for Belize, but his shot from 22 yards went wide of the right post.
El Salvador goalkeeper Henry Hernandez was challenged in the 83rd minute, diving to his right to knock away a bouncing shot by Deon McCaulay, who received a quality cross by Roberts from the right.
El Salvador improves to 6-0-0 in all-time CCA meetings with Belize, which lost all three of its Group Stage matches and was eliminated from the competition.
To view the Highlights of this game, click here.