El Salvador looks to stay focused for 90 minutes

El Salvador (pictured) celebrates after scoring against Belize in a Copa Centroamericana match on January 17, 2017, in Panama City, Panama. (Photo: Imagenes en Costa Rica)

PANAMA CITY, Panama – Just weeks into his tenure as El Salvador head coach, Eduardo Lara is showing that no detail is too small to correct.

The 57-year-old Colombian earned his first victory Tuesday, a 3-1 win over Belize on Matchday 3 at the 2017 Copa Centroamericana. With the three points, the Salvadorans moved up to third in the standings and are poised to clinch a top-four finish, which will result in a berth to this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The performance against Belize was significant in that El Salvador played well without key forward Rodolfo Zelaya and staunch defender Alexander Larin, who were both suspended.

Lara, though, was disappointed that after his side went ahead 3-0 within the opening 23 minutes, it relaxed and conceded a goal just before halftime.

“The team played an excellent 30-35 minutes and in the second half it was about waiting to see if Belize was going to react,” said Lara. “We made a mistake with the goal that they converted against us.

"We had no reason to give them that advantage at any moment, especially at that minute, while winning 3-0. We had no reason to give them spaces and running over us to score a goal.”

Next up for El Salvador is a date on Friday against host Panama.