Sopegno wants Guatemala to grow, make history

Head coach Ivan Sopegno (pictured) has guided Guatemala to the 2014 Central American final. (Photo: Mexsport)

HOUSTON, Texas -- Guatemala completed group play in the 2014 Central American Cup on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Honduras in a performance that head coach Ivan Sopegno hailed as “the perfect match.” 

In his post-game press conference, the former Comunicaciones manager talked about how his players performed their responsibilities with precision and determination.

“We are happy,” said Sopegno.  “We gave a great effort in the three matches and tonight we played a perfect match.  We defended well, we attacked well and against a strong opponent.”

The Guatemalans advanced to Saturday’s final against Costa Rica in Los Angeles by winning Group A with a 3-0-0 record, which included victories over El Salvador (2-1) and Belize (2-1).

“The effort was all worth it.,” expressed Sopegno, who played for Guatemalan power Municipal in the early 1990s.  “We have the opportunity to continue making history and that the fans once again believe in football.  Wearing the Guatemala shirt is not easy.  We like to win.”

While Sopegno praised attacker Marco Pappa, who scored both goals against Honduras to give him four for the tournament, the 50-year-old preferred to talk about the team as a whole. 

“Marco is going well, but this is the work of the team,” the Argentine concluded.  “Everyone puts in something.  There are no egos.  We are growing together and that is what is important.  It needs to be enjoyed.”

Guatemala captured its last and only CCA title in 2001, topping a four-team, final-round group.