Guatemala head coach Ivan Sopegno (right) speaks to the press after a World Cup Qualifying loss to visiting Trinidad & Tobago on November 13, 2015, in Guatemala City. (Photo: Luis Rolando Solares)
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – A loss at home in World Cup Qualifying is never good.
However, if that was to occur, doing so in the first of six group games is probably the best case of all the possible scenarios.
That is why a 2-1 loss Friday to visiting Trinidad & Tobago in the fourth-round opener for each may have some positive implications for Guatemala.
The Chapines return to Group C action Tuesday, hoping to get back on track quickly at St. Vincent & the Grenadines, which dropped a 6-1 decision to the United States.
"We had more opportunities in the first 20 minutes,” said Guatemala head coach Ivan Sopegno, referring to the match against the Trinidadians. “We knew that they are fast and they were accurate when we were not. We believe that we deserved a better result.”
After a scoreless first half, Trinidad took a 2-0 lead on goals by Khaleem Hyland and Kenwyne Jones, before Carlos Mejia pulled one back in stoppage time.
"We erred and they were accurate,” Sopegno continued. “We did not have the proficiency or fortune to convert every time we arrived at the goal."
Guatemala, which finished as runner-up to Costa Rica in the 2014 Central American Cup, has five more games to recover and make things right.
"I think they are six finals, we lost one,” concluded the 52-year-old Sopegno. “It was not that we wanted to lose. Maybe we were going uphill, but we can vindicate ourselves.”