Guatemala head coach Benjamin Monterroso (middle) is pleased that his team remains in contention for a place in the semifinals of the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship. (Photo: Mexsport)
BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois – Despite a 5-0 loss to the United States on Friday in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, Guatemala head coach Benjamin Monterroso was happy with his team’s performance.
Only four years earlier, the U.S. posted a 9-0 win over the Chapinas in the same competition.
“I am very happy with the team’s performance,” said Monterroso. “We know that we faced the Olympic champion and the World Cup runner-up, so we know their potency and they showed it on the field, but the performance of our team was very good. I am happy with the execution and I’m satisfied principally for making it to this level. We still have the roulette of the tiebreaker and we are still alive to be able to qualify.”
Guatemala was down just 1-0 at the break, but the Americans netted four goals within the opening 21 minutes of the second half to seal the victory. For Monterroso, the disparity in fitness levels between the teams was a large factor in determining the final result.
“The difference between the first half and the second was the physical condition,” noted the 62-year-old, a former head coach of the Guatemala men’s national team. “We have to improve our physical condition for a competition of this level. Really, our team does not have the time to work to be able to get the condition that the U.S. team has.”
The fact that the U.S. scored only five goals, as compared to a total of 22 in two previous meetings, is proof to Monterroso that the squad is headed in the right direction. It also gives him reason for optimism ahead of Monday’s encounter against Trinidad & Tobago in Washington, D.C., at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium.
“We are alive,” Monterroso finished. “The team is upbeat with this result. We have progressed. We have improved in the physical and tactical aspects.”