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Panama looks to bounce back in Women’s WCQ
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Panama (red jersey) in Women's World Cup Qualifying action against host Guatemala on May 20, 2014.

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala -- A first-half goal by Maria Monterroso lifted Guatemala to a narrow 1-0 win over Panama on Tuesday in the opening 2015 Women’s World Cup qualifier for each.

Despite the setback, don’t expect the Panamanians to retreat Thursday, when they return to Central American, Group 1 play against Belize at the Estadio Mateo Flores. 

Head coach Raiza Gutierrez believes that if not for some unfortunate luck, the result against the host team could have been very different.

"We played as equals,” said Gutierrez.  “Lamentably, the goalkeeper stopped everything and we lacked a bit of aim, but we had to win.  Now only what’s left is for us to turn the page and recover in the coming matches.” 

The Canaleras certainly matched Guatemala in many areas of the field.  They were, though, foiled by an inspirational display from goalkeeper Yoselin Franco.  The 19-year-old stopped a penalty kick and made at least three other key saves.

Although the loss stung, Gutierrez was satisfied with her team.

"I will stay remain calm with the performance of my players, although we have to improve in some facets,” she concluded.

 
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