Guatemala blanks Aruba, clinches final-phase place

Kevin Bordon (#8) scored in Guatemala's 2-0 win over Aruba in the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship on January 18, 2015, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. (Photo: Mexsport)

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -- Guatemala solidified its hold on second place in Group A as it recorded a 2-0 victory over Aruba in the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship on Sunday. 

The win lifted the Guatemalans to a 3-1-0 mark, leaving them only two points behind first-place Panama (4-0-0, 12) and three points over the United States (1-1-1, 4) and Trinidad & Tobago (1-1-1, 4).  The Americans will meet host Jamaica in the final game of the tripleheader at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.  Aruba fell to 0-0-4. 

Guatemala can clinch a FIFA U-20 World Cup place with a win against Panama on Wednesday, while Aruba closes out its competition against the Jamaicans.  Even with a loss or a draw, the Chapines can still qualify for New Zealand 2015 through a playoff on January 24. 

Carlos Estrada's bicycle kick boosted the Central Americans into the lead in the 43rd minute, before Kevin Bordon added an insurance tally in the 59th minute. 

Goalkeeper Nicholas Hagen recorded the shutout. 

The Guatemalans tried to force the issue in the first half as Stheven Robles drilled a line-drive shot that goalkeeper Jeanmarc Antersijn sprawled to catch in the fourth minute.  Mario Hernandez attempted to chip Antersijn in the 18th minute, but his shot wound up over the crossbar. 

Estrada finally gave the Central American side the lead in the 43rd minute.  Pablo Aguilar sent a feed from the left flank to Estrada in the middle of the penalty area.  With his back to the goal eight yards out, Estrada trapped the ball and then fired a bicycle kick home. 

Bordon gave the Guatemalan some breathing room in the 59th minute.  Once again, Aguilar started the scoring sequence with a corner kick.  Teammate Mauro Portillo managed to touch the ball, which went to Bordon on the left side.  He drilled a close-range shot that Antersijn blocked.  The rebound went to Bordon, who slipped it home for a two-goal advantage. 

Aruba had three opportunities to get on the score sheet in the second half, but was thwarted each time. 

Jeanpierre Van Der Linden (62nd minute) and Joel Geerman (75th minute) had a few steps on their markers on breakaways, but each time the defense smothered any chance of getting a shot on net.  Niels Ridderstap's free kick hit the crossbar in the 90th minute.